I recently started re-reading one of my favorite yoga books: The Yamas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele. I first read this book when I was going through my yoga teacher training and it was by far one of the most meaningful books I have ever read. The way that she explains the yamas and niyamas is so accessible and clear. I reread the first chapter on Ahimsa, which means nonviolence, and that is such an important concept. I really take the idea of not being violent to yourself to heart. I think it is easy to beat yourself up over the way you look or your weight or whatever is on your mind but we need to be kind to ourselves. She makes the point that you treat others the way feel about yourself and that is so true.
Lately I have been working on truthfulness. Her idea of ‘doing it right the first time’ is something I have been practicing. At work and in my life I try to cut corners to get as many things done as I can but really when I don’t do it right the first time I end up going back and spending more time fixing it than if I just did it right the first time. She also has a quote that I love. “What is so scary about the truth?” This really speaks to me. I have also been trying to stop being dishonest with myself. Even with little things I lie to myself.
The most important part of the yamas and niyamas is the remember that you practice them. This means that you mat not do well on your yamas and niyamas today but tomorrow you start all over. Each moment is an opportunity to practice yoga in any form. At times we can think of yoga as only the asanas, or poses, but really living our lives according to the yamas and niyamas is yoga.