Yamas and Niyamas

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The yamas and niyamas are the "dos and don'ts" of any yoga practice. They were first mentioned in a written document by Patanjali, but had been passed down in an oral tradition for centuries before they were recorded in writing.

The Yamas are:

1. Ahimsa: non-violence

2. Satya: truthfulness

3. Asteya: non-stealing

4. Bramhacharya: self-restraint (mental and physical), as pertains to sexuality

5. Aparigraha: non-hoarding, non-greediness

The Niyamas are:

1. Sauca: cleanliness, both internal and external (mental and physical)

2. Santosha: contentment

3. Tapas: austerity and self-discipline

4. Swadhyaya: self-study

5. Ishwarpranidhana: surrendering personal will to the Supreme Self