Yama, the first limb of yoga is the suggestion on how we should deal with those around us. It is the moral code. There are 5 characteristics to Yama…
We should do no harm to any creature or person. We will express kindness, friendliness and thoughtfulness to all beings through our thoughts, words and actions. The belief is that when you hurt others, you are actually hurting yourself.
One of the best-known promoters of this principle is Gandhi. He believed, Ahimsa to be a creative energy force, encompassing all interactions leading to one’s divine truth. His views influenced many such as, Martin Luther King, Jr. and James Bevel.
We should be committed to truthfulness. Learn to speak your truth but be mindful of Ahimsa. There is nothing higher than truth. Everything is upheld by and rests upon it.
We should not take what is not ours. Find joy and gratitude for what you already have. Asteya is not just the taking of physical property. It is also, theft by intent and theft by manipulation.
We should have self-control. Harness sexual energy for creative purposes, as opposed to mindlessly engaging with no real intention.
We should take only what is necessary. Let go of your desires to control and relinquish your attachment to worldly things.
When our Yamas are in check, our human nature is pure and we contribute to the health and happiness of society. In other words, we are good little doobies!