The practice of yoga can be much more than a series of postures or breathing exercises as explained in the article on the Yoga Sutras. The ethical practices (Yamas) and personal practices (Niyamas) suggested by the Yoga Sutras are precepts that can help us in life and in a yoga class. Ultimately their practice gives us a more authentic, rich and happy life. The Yamas:
• Ahimsa - do no harm: to the other or to ourselves. See article on the importance of Ahimsa.
• Satya - be
Ahimsa or non-violence is the first ethical practice (Yama) of the Yoga Sutras. This is a practice whereby we try not to hurt anyone. This is something that we all try to do the best that we can. But the practice of ahimsa also involves not harming ourselves. Something that we do frighteningly often (how many times do we drink too much, not sleep enough, do we overwork, insult or berate ourselves…..?). In a yoga class, what ahimsa means amongst other things, is not to push ou