This week we’re back to talking about yoga philosophy. Quick recap on the framework (outlined at the end of this post): there are 8 limbs of yoga. The foundation of the 8 limbs are the yamas and the niyamas or the morals and guidelines on how to live a full yogic lifestyle. There are five yamas and five niyamas. I’ve talked about the first yama, ahimsa, in a previous post
Today I’m talking about the second yama, satya. Satya means truthfulness. It means to be honest in your thoughts, speech and actions. It means to be authentic and have integrity. The truth is fluid and always changing. It’s our responsibility to pay attention and constantly challenge ourselves to be true.
We’ve started teaching satya to Harlem with the classic story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. The moral of the story is to always tell the truth.
I’m excited to introduce my husband, Russell, to the front of the camera this week as he’s going to tell the story, which has become a favorite bed-time routine in our household. As Harlem gets older, we’ll expand his understanding of satya by teaching him to not only be honest to others but to also be honest to himself. I want him to grow up to be an authentic person who doesn’t rely on others to define him but to be someone who understands his own strengths, and weaknesses, and what makes him fulfilled. This is something I’m working on as well. The yamas and niyamas are something I’m striving towards and nowhere near completely understanding. This series is helping me to wrap my brain around it a little more. Thanks for being along on the ride.
Hope you guys enjoy Russell’s story-telling. He’s a natural!
Quick Overview of Yoga Philosophy:
1. Yamas: 5 ethical standards on how to conduct ourselves
a. Ahimsa: non-harming
b. Satya: truthfulness
c. Asteya: non-stealing
d. Brahmacharya: self-restraint
e. Aparigraha: non-greed
2. Niyamas: 5 self-disciplines on how to take care of ourselves
a. Saucha: cleanliness
b. Santosha: contentment
c. Tapas: heat
d. Svadhyaya: self-study
e. Isvara pranidhana: surrender/devotion to the divine
3. Asana: physical postures to prepare the body to sit still for meditation
4. Pranayama: breathing techniques to steady the flow of energy and prepare for meditation
5. Pratyahara: sensory withdrawal in order to direct our attention to the internal
6. Dharana: concentration on a single point
7. Dhyana: meditation, being aware without a single focus, mind has quieted
8. Samadhi: enlightenment, connection with the divine or self-realization
Additional resources to learn about the Yamas and Niyamas:
- The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele
- Yoga FAQ by Richard Rosen
- Inside the Yoga Sutras: A Comprehensive Sourcebook for the Study & Practice of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras
- The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar
- The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary by Chip Hartranft