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  • Writer's pictureSalina Shah

Yoga's connection to Ahimsa

Updated: May 27, 2023

Ahimsa is at the foundation of yoga's way of living.


While yoga is predominantly associated with asanas (postures), there is actually an eight dimension system in the popular yoga practice recorded in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The path through these dimensions follow:

  1. Yamas (restraints)

  2. Niyamas (observances)

  3. Asana (posture/form)

  4. Pranayama (breath control)

  5. Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)

  6. Dharana (concentration)

  7. Dhyana (meditation)

  8. Samadhi (state of unity)

The basis for yoga's ethical practice is formed by the Yama and Niyama tenets. Ahimsa is the first tenet of the yamas and serves as the foundation of all the other tenets in the ethical practice of yoga.


Yamas

  1. ahimsa (nonviolence)

  2. satya (truthfulness)

  3. asteya (nonstealing)

  4. brahmacharya (non-excess)

  5. aparigraha (non-possssiveness)

Niyamas

  1. saucha (purity)

  2. santosha (contentment)

  3. tapas (self-discipline)

  4. svadhyaya (self-study)

  5. ishvara pranidhana (surrender)





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