• Posted by Lucy

Yamas And Niyamas

Taken from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (“Threads of Yoga” framework), these represent the first 2 limbs of the 8-fold path*/tree of yoga. They are a list of codes of moral conduct, attitudes and behaviours to adopt in relation to the world around you (yamas) and towards yourself (niyamas)


  1. Ahimsa – non-harming (oneself or other living things)
  2. Satya – truthfulness (within the boundaries of ahimsa)
  3. Asteya – non-stealing, including not taking advantage of people or situations
  4. Brahmacharya – moderation of sexuality and our search to fulfil sensual cravings, not wasting our energy
  5. Aparigraha – non-grasping, non-greediness with regard to material things


  1. Saucha – cleanliness of body (inside and out) and environment
  2. Santosha – contentment, acceptance of one’s lot
  3. Tapas – burning enthusiasm, passion for life
  4. Swadhyaya – self-study; getting to know oneself, warts and all
  5. Ishvarapranidhana – honouring a higher power; doing one’s best, but laying our actions at the feet of whatever we believe in, not looking for anything in return

*After the Yamas and Niyamas, the remaining limbs are:

  • Asana (postures)
  • Pranayama (breathing techniques)
  • Pratyahara (sense withdrawal in deep physical relaxation)
  • Dharana (deep concentration)
  • Dhyana (single-pointed meditation) and
  • Samadhi (a trance-like, enlightened, meditative state).