Patanjali’s eight paths of Yoga 1 = Overview of Yama

Traditional Yoga, as set out by patanjali in his Yoga sutras, consists of eight ‘paths’. The first five are called  bahiranga sadhana (external aids to Yoga), and the last three are called antaranga sadhana (internal aids to Yoga).

The first path of Yoga is a bahiranga sadhana called ‘Yama‘ which are abstentions from negative thoughts, behaviours and actions. There are five Yamas:

  1. Ahimsa is the yama of non-violence. This means not deliberately inflicting injury or harm to oneself or others in thought, word or deed.
  2. Satya is the Yama of truth and honesty.
  3. Asteya is the yama of non-covetness or non stealing.
  4. Brahmacharya is translated as celibacy, monogamy – it also means not thinking sexually about any other person than your spouse.
  5. Aparigraha non-possessiveness and detatchment.

The next post in this series will give an overview of Niyama

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