This week we explored the first limb of yoga- Yama.
Yamas are values we are invited to cultivate in our interactions with others, the environment and ourselves.
Like all of yoga, they are practices not something we are needing to perfect.
In my daily practice, I have been bringing the yamas to the mat by physically locating them in space, and then connecting movement through that space as a way of exploring the qualities of the yamas. Associating the yamas in space is an aid to memory, and heped me develop a range of short at home practice sequences, which we explored this week in classes.
Some of you asked for some more info so you can practice at home. Below is a summary of each yama with the Sanskrit name, and possible English translations or concepts that I am working with with each. You may have a different take. I have then listed the space and different movements that connect me to each quality. Feel free to create your own sequence to play around with at home!
Ahimsa- Non Harming. Compassion, kindness. space above. Raising arms, reaching up, toe balance.
Satya- truthfulness, openness, vulnerability, receiving feedback. space below. Folding forwards, touching the ground, child's pose.
Asteya-non stealing, integrity, following through, respecting others time, knowledge and experience. Space in front. Chair pose, cat pose.
Brahmacharya, Balance moderation, containment of energy, healthy boundaries. Space behind. Warrior 3, arms behind, back leg lifted, Dog pose.
Aparigraha, Non possessiveness. Not over consuming, wanting what we have, sustainability. Space to the sides. Side beds, triangle, gate pose.
Always start and finish with a checking in in a neutral place, Tadasana, easy rest etc and allow yourself to become aware of the effects of the practice to end.
It is often tradition to dedicate the fruits of your practice to the benefit of all beings so you may like to try this to end.
let me know how these qualities show up in your week.
We are exploring Niyamas next week, hope to see you.