The 10 Universal Principles
The 10 Universal Principles of The Yoga Code™ are based on the ancient wisdom found in The Yoga Sutras, an ancient yogic text written approximately 2000 years ago by the Indian sage, Patanjali. The Universal Principles have absolutely nothing to do with the physical postures. Many people often confuse this, so …
I’LL REPEAT: They have absolutely nothing to do with the physical postures.
These 10 Universal Principles are known as The Yamas & Niyamas in yoga philosophy and serve as the absolute foundation for the practice of living a yogic lifestyle. Patanjali believed that before you even step foot on a yoga mat, these principles should by studied, practiced and applied to your daily life.
Each principle is not independent of another, but rather woven together to form a beautiful tapestry.
Even as education in the primary school level is important, since it paves the way for one’s further mental build, the Yamas and Niyamas are the rock-bottom of Yoga.
The tonic of Yamas & Niyamas will provide the power and courage needed to face all obstacles.
The Yama-Niyama process constitutes the instructions in yoga psychology, which should give us sufficient warning on the path and make us vigilant pilgrims on the spiritual journey.
~ Sri Swami Krishnananda
With most yogic text, the Universal Principles are translated in a very academic language that is often confusing and less-than-inspiring. Therefore, I have translated them using language and examples that “Real People” can understand (because not all of us have a PhD in Yoga Philosophy … and yes, there is such a thing).
So, what are the 10 Universal Principles? Below I have included a brief overview for you in both the traditional Sanskrit language and a translation of the Western meaning.
Please note this is just a brief glimpse into the profound wisdom within these simple principles. If you want to dive deeper into the transformational power of The Yoga Code™ scroll down for a few options on how you can do this.
1. Kindness and Compassion
Non-harm toward all living things—in thoughts, in actions, and in words. This must first begin with yourself in the form of self-love. Practice loving kindness toward yourself first and then the energy of those around you will become more gentle and kind.
Live in integrity—speak your truth and live an authentic life without trying to be something or someone that isn’t in alignment with your core values, do not lie to yourself or others, and always acknowledge that truth, not rigid, flows and changes just as you do.
Take only what is yours. In a world addicted to consuming, we often take more than what we require, which in turn takes from others who lack basic needs. This overconsumption can also lead to a negative effect on our environment. We steal from others when we try to take away their joy and success. Instead, refrain from stealing such opportunities from yourself, and live up to your full potential.
Embrace the good things our world has to offer without reaching the point of excess—indulge in the pleasures of life but have the awareness to know when you’ve had “enough.” By practicing moderation, you will learn to appreciate what you have and will be rewarded with an abundance of spiritual energy.
Let go of the need to control thoughts, people, situations and outcomes. When you let go of things/people/circumstances that hold you down, you create space for lightness and unlimited opportunity. In this idea of non-attachment, you are also asked not to define yourself by your possessions—for instance, if you attach your identity to your “stuff,” then who will you be if your “stuff” goes away?
6. Purity & Simplicity
In all things: Body, Mind, Spirit and Surroundings, simplify the way you nourish your body, the way you consume information, the roles and responsibilities you take on, and the way you live your life. De-clutter your home and create a sacred space for yourself, and become friends with silence and stillness to purify your mind and spirit.
Find true joy and happiness in where you are regardless of any external circumstances or challenges, and become fully accountable (and thus empowered) for where you are in your life. If you practice gratitude for what you have and embrace each moment exactly the way it is, than you will stop wishing things were different than the way they are, and you will be content.
Determination to go on when faced with obstacles and challenges, and a welcoming of the struggles that lead to growth and expansion. Stay committed and understand that the mind tends to give up before the spirit does, so follow through with your responsibilities and keep the commitments and agreements you’ve made to yourself and to others.
Observe your actions, your ego, and continuously seek out opportunities to learn about your Self. When we live in a state of awareness, we notice and question all of our decisions and behaviours (both positive and negative). To continuously learn and grow while developing the skills of self-inquiry and self-reflection, read spiritual texts.
Sanskrit: Ishvara Pranidhana
Acknowledge that there is a Divine force at work and have faith that it will lead you to your true path. From there, learn to live in the “Flow” of life rather than fight against the current and surrender to the powerful freedom that comes with knowing you are part of a bigger plan.
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