Introduction to Yoga Sutras 2.30-2.34
YAMAS AND NIYAMAS
The first of the eight rungs (2.29) of Yoga is the five Yamas (2.30),
which have to do with training your actions, speech, and thoughts in
relation to the external world, particularly with other people. They
1) Non-harming (2.35),
2) Truthfulness (2.36),
3) Non-stealing (2.37),
4) Remembering the higher reality (2.38)
5) Non-possessiveness (2.39).
As these are gently, lovingly practiced over time, they gradually
evolve into great vows for living (2.31).
The second of the eight rungs is the five Niyamas (2.32), which have
to do with your relationship within yourself. They involve:
1) Purifying your body and mind (2.40-2.41)
2) Cultivating an attitude of contentment (2.42)
3) Training your senses (2.43)
4) Inner exploration (2.44)
5) Letting go into your spiritual source (2.45).
WHEN YOU ARE NOT DOING THE YAMAS AND NIYAMAS:
When you are acting, speaking, or thinking against the Yamas and
Niyamas (2.33), the suggestion is to remind yourself that such
negative actions, speech, or thoughts are going in the wrong
direction, and will bring you nothing but unending misery (2.34). It
can be as straightforward as silently repeating the words to
yourself, "Mind, this is not useful; this is going to bring me
nothing but more suffering, and lead me into greater ignorance of
truth." This simple practice is an extremely important way to
balance, purify, and train the mind (2.34).
27 VARIETIES OF NEGATIVITY:
Those contrary actions, speech, or thoughts can be done by oneself,
got done by another, or merely approved of. They may be accompanied
by anger, greed, or delusion. They may be mild, medium, or intense.
Thus, there are 27 combinations of these three triads (2.34).
Awareness and witnessing of these is a very useful part of
discrimination, which is the key to enlightenment (2.26-2.29).
WHY PRACTICE THE EIGHT RUNGS?
One of the most common principles that is missed is why one is
practicing these eight rungs. The reason for practicing the eight
rungs is discriminative knowledge, as described in the previous three