Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Moral Code of Yoga

The Moral Code of Yoga seems to me the way everyone should be raised and should raise themselves. In some ways it seems so simple, but we are creatures often ruled by our impulses, but if we are made aware of our ability to choose, from an early age, then maybe we can really start living as children and then as grownups we won’t miss our squandered youth.

1. Ahimsa: non-violence, non-injury, harmlessness. Free yourself of aggression, preconceptions and suspicion and you will be able to create an attitude free of violence.
2. Satya: truthfulness, honesty. By being honest, we as individuals can gain self assurance and also gain the trust of others.
3. Asteya: non-stealing, honesty. Stealing is not only a materialistic pursuit; be sure to own your own ideas. Use your own original thoughts.
4. Brahmacharya: self control in thought, word and deed as well as control of all the senses. Practice self control and moderation throughout life. Do not take more than you need. Do not fall victim to your desires.
5. Aparigraha: non-possessiveness, non-greed, non-selfishness. Materialism does not make you a better person. Be happy with what you have. Free yourself of greed.
6. Shaucha: purity, cleanliness. Cleanliness of body, clothing, food and surroundings and also of thought, words and actions. Keeping things clean (pure) encourages a healthy life and a clean mind allows for positive thinking.
7. Santosha: contentment, peacefulness. Thankfulness. Be content with what you have. Appreciate the small things in life. Be at peace with everyone and accept who you are. Contented feelings come from consciousness and self knowledge not from the possession of things.
8. Tapas: Self Discipline. Helps develop positive habits such as self control. Allows the individual to make choices through which their lives will become more ordered and better organized. Use yoga, meditation, good eating habits. Take care of yourself in body and mind.
9. Swadhyaya: introspective self-study. This is self directed learning and allows for the discovery of the real self. Use yoga, meditation, reading and journal writing to answer your own life questions.
10. Ishwarapranidhana: Live a spiritual life. Do not be driven by your wants and desires. Be confident in your own strength and believe you are ok as you are.

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