Yoga: Yamas & Niyamas Means Self Improvement

Yoga: Yamas & Niyamas Means Self Improvement

YogaSutra, the oldest surviving Indian text of yoga, summarizes its techniques.

Although written hundreds of years ago, it is a timeless guide to spiritual development.

Patanjali, to whom the text is attributed, describes yoga as an eight-foot path (Ashtanga).

This path consists of moral principles (Yamas), rules of conduct (Niyamas), physical postures (Asanas), respiratory techniques (Pranayamas), emotion control (Pratyahara), mind control (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana) and identification with absolute consciousness (Samadhi).


Yamas means universal human valuesamas 

The Yamas are the first stage on this trail. They are made up of 5 ethical principles that are literally universal and help every person to live in harmony not only with his fellow human beings but with all beings on this planet.

These principles regarding our relationships with others are non-violence (Ahimsa), sincerity (Satya), avoidance of theft (Asteya), self-restraint of desires (Brahmacharya) and non-possessiveness (Aparigraha).

The application of these ethical principles concerns practice, reason and thought. For example, when we say that we should avoid violence, we mean verbal violence or the thought of doing evil.



The second path of yoga is the rules of conduct (Niyamas) that are primarily concerned with relationships with ourselves.

The 5 Niyamas are purity (Saucha), simplicity (Santosha), study (Swadhyyaya), devotion (Tapas) and transcendence of the I (Ishvarapranidhana).


The effort is ongoing

Of course, those who have decided to do yoga or those who have started a class do not mean that they will have these principles and rules overnight. Conquering them is a constant effort of self-improvement, a ladder you will climb.

The Yamas and Niyamas trails are essential for the most advanced techniques. But whether you choose to pursue yoga or not, it will surely make things easier in your relationships with other people. Most of all, they will make you feel good about yourself and not be ashamed of it.


By Dr Angel,

Αggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology

insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 


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