The Yamas and Niyamas are foundational to all yogic thought. Yoga is a sophisticated system that extends far beyond doing yoga postures; it is literally a way of living. Yoga is designed to bring you more and more awareness of not only your body but also your thoughts. The teachings are a practical, step-by-step methodology that bring understanding to your experiences, while at the same time pointing the way to the next experience. They are like a detailed map, telling you where you are and how to look for the next landmark. They facilitate taking ownership of your life and directing it towards the fulfillment that you seek.
The Yamas and Niyamas may be thought of as guidelines, tenets, ethical disciplines, precepts, or restraints and observances. The author, Deborah Adele, says, "I often think of them as jewels, because they are the rare gems of wisdom that give direction to a well-lived and joyful life." In Yogic philosophy, these jewels sit as the first two limbs of the 8-fold path.
The first five jewels, or guidelines, are referred to as the Yamas, a Sanskrit word which translates literally into the word "restraints" and includes nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-excess, and non-possessiveness. The last five jewels are referred to as the Niyamas, or "observances," and include purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender. Many guides to ethical conduct may leave us feeling overwhelmed with concepts, or boxed in by rule sets. But Yoga's guidelines do not limit us from living life. Rather, they begin to open life up to us more and more fully, and they flow easily into one another in ways that are practical and easy to grasp.
In this book, each Yama and Niyama has been given its own chapter in which the philosophy of the guideline is woven with practical examples and stories. At the end of the chapter a list of questions is provided for group or self study.
This book is perfect for the individual on a personal journey or for a group of people who would like to study together. Teachers could use this book to lead an extended study/ in-depth class or a book club/group of friends could make a commitment to studying together.
This book is softcover, 192 pages and retails for $12.95.
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See a PDF of the Table of Contents.
See a PDF of the Preface and Introduction.
Download the Free Facilitator's Guide (221K - PDF).
Watch a video of Deborah giving an overview of the Yamas and Niyamas: Yama and Niyama Overview
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