The Yogi Code- 5 Yamas of Yoga, Powerful Social Ethics

The Yogi Code

The Yogi Code

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The Yogi code- the five yamas of yoga, sometimes called social ethics, make the first limb of the eight limb path of yoga. They are the principles that teach us how to relate to others in a healthy way. Let’s explore each one.

The Yogi Code

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The Yogi Code Breakdown

Ahimsa- instead of harming others, we are serving others. This helps us to feel compassionate and connected. We can harm others with our motives, intentions, actions, or words. Ahimsa means we harm nothing, not even a little mosquito.

Before you speak, ask yourself: is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve the silence?

Shirdi Sai Baba
The Yogi Code
Come into Pigeon pose. Observe any pain that arises. This is a form of harm. Adjust physically do that you don’t cause pain to yourself.

Satya- being truthful in all areas of life. Without being truthful, we live a dishonest and delusional life. When we practice Satya, we are free because we hide nothing. Small white lies (or bigger ones) lead us away from our true nature and cause guilt and anxiety. If we are following the yogi code of ahimsa, we would be truthful without causing harm.


Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.

John Lennon
The Yogi Code
Come to Utthita Parsvakonasana. Be true to yourself in the pose, true to the alignment, true to how you feel.

Asteya- means nonstealing. Stealing implies a void, we are seeking for external satisfaction. When we practice the yogi code of asteya, we can be the richest person in the world because we will always feel we have enough. We need to be mindful how we take without giving back. We can steal from nature, animals, and others. When we shift from greed to contentment, we never need to steal again.


Earth provided enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.

Mahatma Gandhi
The Yogi Code
Ardha Matsyendrasana- come into the pose your way. Do not mimic another person, come up with your own expression of the pose. No two bodies are the same.

Brahmacharya- “walking with Brahman.” This is the principle of preserving our creative energy by following the middle path. We do not indulge nor repress desires.


Celibacy goes deeper than the flesh.

F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Yogi Code
Lizard pose- find the middle point of the pose, not too challenging or too relaxing. Listen to your body and modify. Stay centered and don’t give in to any desire.

Aparigraha- the yogi code of nonhoarding. We can have possessions but not possessiveness. Being a hoarder gives us more desires and in yoga, we reduce desires to become free. When we no longer have the desire to possess anything or anyone, that thing comes to us willingly.


If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.

Thich Nhat Hanh
The Yogi Code
Paschimottonasana- Aparigraha in yoga poses means the desire to achieve a pose lessens. We accept that with practice and time, we will get there.

When we follow the Yogi Code, we are on the path to Samadhi, enlightenment!

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Published by Yoga Traveler

Yoga is my passion, teaching is my life. I started teaching yoga when my husband entered the US Air Force and now my career travels with me. Every time I move, I look for places to teach and a community of caring yogis who I grow to love and then one day, leave behind. This is a place where we can reconnect and create our yoga together. This site can travel with you. Welcome!

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