The Five Yamas
"Purification, self-inquiry, and surrender to the Divine are practices that lead to unity. These practices cultivate awareness and remove afflictions obstructing Realisation of Truth" -Patanjali
The Five Yamas are Traditional Tantric/Yogic principles of how to conduct oneself morally through life. These highly effective moral codes are the gateway to personal transformation and higher states of consciousness.
It is important to observe The Five Yamas as metaphorical concepts and inner attitudes (towards others and ourselves) as well as outward actions.
1. Ahimsa (no- violence/hate)
Ahimsa means being kind and respectful to all living beings. Ahimasa refers to not only our actions towards others, but also our thoughts, as having hurtful thoughts to wards others also creates negative karma. Violence often arrises from weakness, fear irritability and ignorance. By actively practicing being compassionate in our everyday lives, we can embrace love and kindness in difficult situations leading to acceptance and contentment, instead of reacting (or even over reacting) in violent ways that hurt us and others. Ahimsa also requires the understanding that everyone has a right to their own opinion and to value the beliefs of others. Remember to be kind and non violent to yourself also, thinking/behaving unkindly to ourselves is just as bad as it is to another.
If you wish to practice Ahimsa, look at your behaviour and ask yourself "Am I loving and kind toward myself and others?" and also "Am I hurtful (words/thoughts/actions) towards myself and others?".
2. Satya (Truth)
In the basic sense Satya means not telling lies, it also means not misleading or telling half truths. Satya also means living in according to our beliefs. To practice Satya we must ask ourselves if we have been truthful in our words and actions. We must not justify lies to ourselves either, to do this would be deceptive to ourselves. We must also not use the truth to directly hurt others.
3. Asteya (no-Stealing)
The basic concept of Asteya is not to take things from someone without it being offered. As we look deeper into the meaning of Asteya we realise it can also mean not stealing valuable time, energy and ideas from others too. Another way of viewing Asteya is not to take things we do not need. Asteya is also renouncing envy and the desire to posses what others have, for as long as you want what another has, you are a thief on the mental plane of existence. Practicing Asteya also means upholding justice, by giving others what they deserve, never giving less while also not offering more than is required and making a fair exchange.
Brahmacharya means practicing restraint in lust, moderation and having a spiritual focus. Brahmacharya also means using our sexual energy (fluids) for higher purposes. This is the reason true Tantric practitioners encourage the practice of non ejaculation. Through both meditation and engaging the pelvic floor muscles the sexual fluids of both men and women can be transformed into spiritual energy to be used for spiritual and mental evolution. Through practicing Brahmacharya men become more virile with greatly increased sexual stamina. Brahmacharya is also way to achieving multiple male orgasm, as it teaches the separation of orgasm and ejaculation leading to many different types of orgasm and sensual arousal.
5. Aparigraha (No-Coveting)
Aparigraha means not being greedy and accumulating more than we need. When we practice Aparigraha we practice being detached from objects and are able to realise that things come and go and we are happier when we do not hold on to them. Having too many things creates a cautious existence where we worry about others wanting or taking our things. This leads to solitude and takes us away from Unity and our true self - Atman. By practicing Apariagraha we become content with what we have and learn how to value and use our things in the right way as a learning tool for our own development.