“At first, following a moral code can be seen as a protection for yourself and others. With further practice and reflection, you can see how each basic area of truthfulness and integrity can be developed into a meditation itself, bringing you awakening and sowing seeds of inner freedom. As you develop each area of your virtue, it can become a spontaneous gift, an offering of caring from your heart to all other beings.”
– Jack Kornfield
This quote from Jack Kornfield inspires us to think bigger than the yoga mat or meditation cushion.
Although there is no such thing as the “yoga police” and no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do yoga, it is important to highlight that Yoga is more than just stretching and Mindfulness is more than just being present. Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga and The Eight Fold Path are guideposts taking our practice deeper.
Both (although when looked deeply are one of the same) philosophies are inclusive of moral principles to help free all beings from harm and suffering. The word Yoga means to “yoke” or to harness. The Yogis are talking about harnessing the mind so that it does not cause suffering.
Mindfulness asks us “to remember” who we really are. Kind and loving human beings.
Both Mindfulness and Yoga are teaching us the same thing: to ‘wake up’ and become ‘aware, to be the captain of our own ship. To see what it is we are doing, and ask “is this skilful and useful or not?”
We cannot dive into teaching these ways of being without taking a look at how we treat others and how we treat ourselves. And this is why having a “Code of Ethics” is relevant, useful and most of all practical.
As an integrated way of life, Yoga includes moral standards (traditionally called “virtues”) that any reasonable human being would find in principle acceptable. Some of these standards, known in Sanskrit as Yamas and Niyamas ‘disciplines’ are encoded in the first limb of Patanjali’s eightfold path.
Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing ways to integrate aspects of the Eight Limbs of Yoga and the Pillars of Mindfulness into daily life (both on and off the yoga mat)
A recap on the first two limbs :
Yamas (Universal Morality). The Yamas are broken down into five “wise characteristics “they tell us that our fundamental nature is compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful.”
Niyamas (Personal Observances) Niyama: These are the suggestions prescribed for personal observance. Like the yamas, the five niyamas are not exercises or actions to be simply studied. They represent far more than an attitude. They refer to the attitude yogis must adopt toward themselves as they create a code for living soulfully
For a breakdown on each of the five Yamas and Niyamas – CLICK HERE
For those who would love to take their understanding and personal development in Yoga and/or Mindfulness further our Yoga NRG Teacher Training Programs and short courses (available in many locations, including regional and remote ~ and via online / live mentoring sessions) you can:
CONTACT US – email@example.com 0439 418 571
CLICK HERE FOR 200 Hour and 500 Hour Teacher Yoga + Mindfulness Training Programs
PARTICIPATE IN OUR PILLARS OF MINDFULNESS CHALLENGE and you could be the lucky soul coming with us on one of our NRG FOR SOUL RETREATS run in various locations annually
Use or search for the hashtags #yoganrg #mindfulnesschallenge and post your own contemplations and reflections on each of the Pillars (we will be sharing each of these in our upcoming blogs).