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Applying The Five Yamas to Practice

The five Yamas is Patanjali’s first limb of yoga. They provide details on how we should conduct ourselves and with others as we practice yoga. I find them to be helpful reminders as we tend to forget while immersing deep in the practice. Oftentimes, we would push our bodies past our limits, risking possible injury. Our goal, pride and ego also stands in the way.

  1. Ahimsa (non-violence). Not overstretching ourselves while in a pose, and not being hard on ourselves. There are good days and bad days. Listen to the body, and not get frustrated if you can’t nail the pose.
  2. Satya (truthfulness). Being honest with your practice, your breathing, and following instructions from the teachers. Basically, do not ignore the truth that your body is communicating to you.
  3. Asteya (non-stealing). Each part of the body should have equal energy, avoid overcompensating on one side to achieve a “perfect” pose.
  4. Brachmacharya (non-excess). Directing the body’s energy into the right path.
  5. Aparigraha (non-attachment). Avoid comparing yourself other high performing students. To respect yourself and understand that you have your own path to take and each practice is a checkpoint to your journey forward.

Alvin
200 Hour YTT Feb-May’21

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