Off the Mat: Yamas

Earlier this year we visited how the Yamas were outlined in Sri Swami Satchidananda’s rendition of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

We learned that the Yamas are the moral and ethical principles which guide us in living with others in order to live a fulfilled and happy life. They direct us towards health, harmony, peace, satisfaction and well-being.

They are not a system of what is “right” and what is “wrong”; rather, they are guidelines for living that came about after lifetimes of observation and learning by the sages of ancient India.

These are behaviors which control negative tendencies, and offer a more beneficial way of thinking and acting within society. Here are some of our tried-and-true ways of taking the Yamas into practice Off the Mat:

  • Ahimsa (non-violence)
    • Off the mat: Quiet your inner critic. Close your eyes at your desk for 30 seconds and intentionally take 5 long, deep breaths.
  • Satya (truth)
    • Off the mat: Honor your word. Meet the deadlines you’ve committed to or re-communicate an updated deadline to your co-workers.
  • Asteya (non-stealing)
    • Off the mat: Mind the clock. Be conscious of not stealing your co-workers’ precious time. Start and end meetings punctually.
  • Brahmacharya (moderation)
    • Off the mat: Pause. Be honest about your workload before you agree to take on more projects.
  • Aparigraha (non-coveting)
    • Off the mat: don’t be a Cookie Monster. There are enough snacks in the office kitchen for your entire team – so long as you don’t hoard them at your desk.

Interested in bringing Office Yoga® to your workplace? Click here and let’s make it happen!

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