The Five Yamas Of Hatha Yoga Essay

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The Five Yamas Of Hatha Yoga Essay, Research Paper The Five Yamas of Hatha Yoga Yoga is a discipline both involving physical and mental control that originated in India. The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word, “yug”, meaning union and it means the joining of the individual spirit with the universal spirit. The type of yoga known as Hatha Yoga, (“Ha”- sun, “tha”-moon) is what is most commonly practiced and this yoga involves the path of the mind and body and is the most physical. There are eight limbs or steps of Hatha Yoga, the first step being the five Yamas. There are five yamas and these concern your behavior to the world. The first of the yamas is Ahimsa, whose translation from Sanskrit is non-violence. The yama of Ahimsa is about practicing

non-violence in words, thoughts, and actions as well as about practicing compassion, patience, understanding, and love of all creatures. This yama is the one that I am most consciously aware of and that I practice the most in my life, for Ahimsa is the very essence of my religion, Jainism. To me, Ahimsa is much more than a request of being non-violent. It has the positive meaning of intense and detached love for every living creature. Every living creature has the same right to live in peace as you have and all beings should respect that right. Furthermore, Ahimsa does not mean to tolerate or passively accept violence or evil. It means to resist violence and evil, but with detachment and by loving the person through which that evil manifests. Ahimsa also implies a lack of

unnecessary criticism. It requests to respect other’s views and beliefs, and to listen to and approach with an open mind ideas that vary from your own. One of the ways that I practice Ahimsa in my life is by being a vegetarian. It is extremely hard to be a vegetarian in this country. In fact, at a time in my life when I was very young and very ignorant about the principles of my religion, I ate meat. Yet, as I became more knowledgeable and wise, I gave up meat and haven’t eaten it in ten years. The reason I did so was simply because I believe in the sanctity and integrity of all life forms. The second yama is Satya, whose translation from Sanskrit is truthfulness. It requires one to respect the truth in thinking, action, and speech. Satya is a very large concept. It means

that you should not say something that you know is false. It also means that you should not lead others into error by making them believe that you know something when you only presume. Saying the truth is extremely difficult, for, before telling the truth you must know it through personal experimentation; you must discover the truth about yourself and release false pretenses. The way I live truthfulness in my heart is to be truthful to myself and to my heart. I need to do that before I can open up the truth to everyone else. One of the ways in which I practice truthfulness to myself is by knowing and respecting my abilities and limitations. For example, I am very aware of my knowledge of other subjects. In some subjects such as math and physics I excel, however, in others, such

as politics or history, I am not as capable as other people. So, when discussions of subjects in which I am not so competent come up, I don’t pretend to act knowledgeable or well-versed in that subject. Instead of being fake and inferior, I try to let others take the lead and step back and listen in order to absorb more information and to increase my understanding. By doing so, I stay true to myself as well as to others. The third yama is Asteya, whose translation from Sanskrit is non-stealing and non-coveting. In order to fully practice Asteya, you must realize that at this moment, you are whole and complete. You must work with what you have today, feel a sense of contentment with what you have, and have no concern for the future. This implies not to take something that is not