Yoga is a way of life-based on the ten principles which when applied to our daily lives can bring about a transformation & purification at the soul, heart, mind & body to free us from our karmic cycle. These ten principles are based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The Sutras guide us to follow a two-step process, one of imbibing and applying the principles & second to meditate to develop inner calm & peace.
The 10 Principles of Yoga are as follows:
- Ahimsa or Non-Violence applies non-violence of our thoughts, words & deeds. Most of us can apply non-violence in our actions as we don’t involve ourselves in fistfights; however, it is harder for us to maintain purity in our speech & our thoughts. Speaking or thinking ill of others or ourselves is a form of non-violence that creates mental & emotional disorders in the body.
- Satya or truthfulness is a principle that is meant to inspire us to be most honest with ourselves and others. Most of us lie as a matter of convenience or because it is considered entirely normal these days. Especially small white lies of being unavailable when someone needs us or lying that we have arrived when we are running late or the reason why we run late sometimes. All these lies catch up to us & decrease the light with which our soul or spirit burns thus leading to distrust, doubt & other negative mindsets that we ourselves give birth to.
- Asteya or Righteousness is non-stealing of material things, ideas, or intellectual property, where we see maximum dilution or strife in today’s date & time across all fields & sectors. It even applies to non-stealing others personality, behavior or trends and being authentic to oneself.
- Brahmacharya or Wisdom talks about being aligned to one’s spiritual light and following one’s real purpose without getting diluted in the outer rat race of chasing money and worldly belongings.
- Aparigraha or Simplicity is a principle that reminds us to remain in balance & moderation without getting carried away in consumption of external pleasures but to develop the inner light within.
- Saucha or Surrender of Ego is one of the most important principles in the purification of self as it leads directly to enlightenment and attaining of sainthood. Most of us have a very strong sense of I, when we can go beyond self, our true journey begins.
- Santosh or Contentment is probably the hardest principle to apply as human nature is such that we easily get tired or bored of what we already have, it’s important to remind ourselves that we are here on mother earth with a higher purpose that goes beyond our jobs, families, salaries or social standing and to achieve that or to even start treading in that direction one has to be contented in life.
- Tapa or Self Discipline requires us to remain self-disciplined on our spiritual journey with our practices that transform the soul, heart, mind & body through asanas, chanting & meditation.
- Swadhyaya or Self-study to progress on the spiritual path.
- Ishvarapranidhana is to stay the course of our spiritual journey with regular practices or chants & faith to always keep in our awareness our main purpose or goals of spiritual awakening.
Incorporating Patanjali’s Yoga Principles in our daily lives is simple yet takes years of practice and lifetimes to achieve. It is to be aware of oneself and everything around us and to be in the space of gratitude for everything in one’s life by continuously striving to apply the principles as much & as often as possible.
An example of this is to bless someone who bothers or irritates you, this way one rises above one’s circumstances creates good karma and walks the path of enlightenment. This is easier said than done because when someone is offending us, yelling at us or arguing with us it is our nature to defend, deflect or prove our point of view as correct. If we can allow each person to have their interesting points of view and give them space & respect to live their lives, we will continue to evolve and apply the ten principles in our daily lives.
Incorporating the principles of yoga in your life is not a simple process it takes practice & dedication.
You may also like