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Yama

Ashtanga Yoga is known as the “Eight-limbed Path” for the eight stages of yoga practice that a yogi passes through to attain awakening.  These stages were first written about in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  The first five limbs are external practices, and the last three are internal practices.  Over the next few weeks we will look at some of these limbs.  The first one is “Yama” which is Sanskrit for restraints, or moral discipline.  The yamas are broken down into five elements of spiritual practice that we can utilize:

-Aparigraha is not acquiring.  Basically this means to avoid being greedy, to simplify, to not accumulate or use more than you need.

-Asteya is not stealing.  Respect other people and their boundaries and property.  Do not take something that is not yours, whether it is in a material, physical, spiritual, intellectual or emotional sense.

-Ahimsa is nonviolence.  Practice peace in thought, word and deed, towards yourself and others.

-Brahmacharya is moderation.  It also means we must be virtuous, to be loving and have compassion for others.

-Satya is truthfulness.  Be honest, have integrity, understand the power of the spoken word.

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