8 Limbs of Yoga – Yamas Part 2

3. Asteya; abstention from stealing. Not to take anything that doesn’t belong to you, material or spiritual.
Asteya is pretty straightforward to understand. But keep in my mind that there are many subtle ways of stealing we may not even be aware of.
For instance; a friend did something and people thought you made it and complimented you. You accepting all these compliments is also asteya.
Don’t think asteya as stealing a material object that doesn’t belong to you. It has many subtle ways. So in life take only things (material and spiritual) that belong to you and things you earned in an honest way.
4. Brahmacharya; walking in awareness of highest reality.
Brahmacharya is mostly interpret as “celibacy” or having sex only with your wife/husband, not committing adultery or having sex only to have children. But what it really means in Sanskrit is someone who walks in the path of God and who always acts with this awareness.

The “celibacy” interpretation comes also from this understanding. If someone sees God in everything that person doesn’t need sexual relations because s/he sees God also on the inside.
Let’s say you hit someone; you knowing that God sees and feels that and you are also hitting a part of God because we are all a part of the highest reality is brahmacharya. Or another example would be, you are cheating on your partner and you think nobody knows it but in fact it is known at a higher state.
So brahmacharya is to know that everything you do is seen by God and to act with that awareness.
5. Aparigraha; non-possessivness. Not to have or take more than you need.
Aparigraha is very important. If you don’t take more than you need then there won’t be any more problem in the world. We always read that %99 of the wealth in the world belongs to %1 of the population. If we don’t want more than we need, there are enough things for everyone but because we all want to have more, we take more than our share of evenly distributed things.
Let’s say there is a cake and there is a piece for everyone. If I take two pieces instead of taking one then i will be taking someone else’s share and the rest of the people will share what is left and they will have smaller pieces. If another person also takes two pieces, the rest will have even smaller pieces. We should realize that everything we don’t need but we take, we are taking it from someone else.
To sum all yamas; yoga starts with them and it consist of these five practices which are our self-control practices. You will live a conscious, honest and ethical life when you practice them. This will help you to break the alliance with karma and to go further on the path to samadhi.

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