The Yamas and Niyamas of Hatha Yoga can be seen as the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of the philosophy. So for example we don’t harm as suggested by the Yama Ahimsa and we do keep our bodies fit in the example of Tapas the Niyama that advises us to build heat in the body to cleanse it. Yamas and Niyamas are the first two of the 8 limbs of the body of Hatha yoga and they give us a code of conduct if you like. I like to see them as an attitude or behaviour to avoid or exemplify. We could see the Yamas as the attitude we have towards things and people outside of ourselves and the Niyamas how we relate towards ourselves inwardly.
Starting with Ahimsa this is the act of non-harming and can be seen as the absence of injustice or cruelty and instead kindness, friendliness and thoughtful consideration of other people and things. The second Yama is Satya and this requires us to be truthful. So we speak our truth with consideration for others feelings thus applying the Yama of Ahimsa at the same time! When we experience truth, the madness of finding fault with others disappears.
The quote that is reminding me why I practice Yoga at the moment is this definition of Peace: it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. Anon.
My inspiring reading is: The Heart of Yoga, developing a personal practice by TKV Desikachar. A book I dip into at regular intervals and have done so for many years.
Stay present and breathe deeply.