These basic principles are the foundation for a yogic lifestyle, and are similar to basic disciplines of other spiritual belief systems. They are guidelines for a life based in compassion, self-actualization, and love.
1. Nonviolence is the peaceful approach to living with ourselves and others. On every level of thought, word, and deed, we greet ourselves and others with a willingness to be supportive and helpful, and to avoid harming ourselves and others.
2. Truthfulness is an extension of nonviolence, accepting honesty as the core of relationship and extending this honesty to others while being careful not to harm anyone in the process.
3. Nonstealing is the practice of generosity of spirit, honoring what is ours and what is not ours on every level. We can be generous with ourselves by accepting an opportunity, or we can steal the opportunity from ourselves out of fear or guilt. We live in nature, but it is not ours. If we steal from the perfect balance of nature, we will suffer the consequences of a toxic environment.
4. Nonexcess is gratitude for what is needed for a balanced life, and freedom from the need to participate in any action that upsets that balance. It is the awareness of having enough in every aspect of life, without needing MORE than enough.
5. Nonpossessiveness is the liberation from greed, from being driven to cling to people, material objects, experiences, and beliefs that prevent us from the freedom of self-actualization, personal movement, and joy.
1. Purity is the consistent practice of cleansing our bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits of any toxins that prevent perfect health on all levels. This includes substances we put in our bodies, thoughts we think, emotions we express and spiritual beliefs.
2. Contentment allows for deeper understanding and acceptance of our selves, others, and life. We become more fulfilled and release the need to control the outside world. We even become content with discontentment.
3. Self-discipline is the daily practice of looking inside the self for understanding of our thoughts and actions. It is the commitment to developing character based on continual growth and change.
4. Self-study is grounded in self-discipline and allows for an honest pursuit of knowing ourselves from the inside out. It invites us to observe our thoughts, words, actions, beliefs, and the stories we tell. From our observations, we choose the next action that takes us closer to our truth.
5. Surrender reassures us that life and the source of life know more than we do, and we can trust that all is unfolding exactly as it should, and we can relax and enjoy the outcomes. We then make changes based on what we learn from the outcomes as we move closer to an self-actualization.