Ethical disciplines
The great commandments transcending creed, country, age and time (Patanjali)
Ahimsa          Non-violence

Ahimsa is more than a negative command not to kill or be violent, it has a wider positive meaning ... LOVE.  The yogi will apply Ahimsa to thoughts, words and actions.   In the case of actions, obviously it means do not physically hurt any sentient being.  With words, the yogi will not use words that slander, degrade or hurt another being (human and non-human); rather, use a manner of speech which communicates a positive view of the truth.  Thoughts are more difficult to control than words or actions, therefore yogis must discipline themselves not to think harm to anyone in the world or nature.  Yogis must let their negative thoughts go, wish their enemies well, and thereby the yogi heart will be lighter, without obstacles, prepared for Love.

Satya              Truth

The truth referred to is truth in thoughts, words and actions and has a strong connection with Ahimsa.  When yogis think, talk and live a truthful life, they will be prepared to connect with the Self.  Truth will bring Freedom.  The yogi who is thinking, talking and living the truth will be rewarded with a connection to the Infinite... the Self. That is the ultimate truth: Satya.

Asteya             Non-stealing

Non-stealing refers not only to taking that which belongs to someone else without permission, it is applicable in a number of other circumstances and conditions.  Exs. To use something for another purpose than is intended by, or for a longer time than has been sanctioned by, the owner, comes under the umbrella term of Asteya.  To be late or not appear for an appointment, and thereby steal the time of another or a breach of trust, are also violations of Asteya.

Bramacharya          Continence

Yogis practice the discipline of self-restraint and control.  It is with self-restraint that a yogi can develop the courageous mind and powerful intellect necessary for the growth of a spiritual life.  Yogis must determine how to apply bramacharya to their lives by means of self restraint, fidelity and love. Bearing in mind that without experiencing human love and happiness, it is not possible to understand divine love.

Aparigraha            Non-coveting

To be free from desiring that which belongs to someone else and also to be free of the need to possess, collect or hoard, is aparigraha.  A yogi life should be a simple life where there is no feeling that anything is lacking and where the yogi has faith that the Self will provide all that one needs. 

Rama Yoga