Yamas in yoga are the Niyama’s by which the individual who follows the path of Yoga lives. Yoga and Yoga philosophies are the gifts of the ancient Hindu society as well as the various sages that came before. The field is vast and various rules and techniques are followed by the yogis to live a healthy and spiritual life and among those is the Yamas which is the rule by which a Yogi lives. Several types of Yamas have their quality and how they are the universal path of the individual.
There are 5 Yama in yoga. Following are the 5 Yama in yoga and their detailed description:
It is the non-violence Yama in yoga. Violence is found everywhere in the world, especially in this time and age people are more inclined to violence. However, the people who are involved in the path of yoga and Dharma are in the path of non-violence.
It is believed that every life in this world is sacred. Every soul is a fragment of the Brahma itself and when one takes a life in the process, they also harm their soul.
The path of Ahimsa is very difficult and not everyone can walk it. Most of the people are not murderers in this world and have not taken any life, however, still, they are not immune to violence and almost all humans have done some form of violence or have thought to do so in their minds. Ahimsa Yama in yoga teaches to even refrain from violent activities and even try to avoid the violent thoughts from their mind.
Satya is the truth Yama in yoga. This Yama in yoga teaches to tell and stay with the truth throughout the lifetime. Truth is something that has the quality of being true. It represents something that is reality or part of it.
The path of truth is hard one this Yama in yoga is even harder than the Ahimsya Yama in yoga. To walk the path of Satya one needs to always speak the truth and truth only no matter the situation. In the world of today where people lie in a sentence to sentence and even word to word, it is hard to keep on the path of Satya always.
Truth Yama in yoga tells that sometimes the truth can be hurtful and difficult to say, in these times it is easy to lie and deceive them. However, no matter how hurtful the truth is the one who follows Satya Yama in yoga must always speak the truth.
Asteya is the non-stealing Yama in yoga. This Yama in yoga tells that one must not take something that is not freely given to them. Looking on the surface it looks like it is the easiest to accomplish among the other Yama in yoga. However, it may be one of the most difficult among the five Yama in yoga.
Asteya means not to steal from anyone, and most people think that now stealing money or an object from someone is enough. However, this goes much deeper than this. For example, in this age of ideas, the stealing of ideas and thoughts are also stealing from somebody. Looking at this Yama in yoga at the level of society rather than on the personal level not giving the right to the oppressed people, injustice, and exploitation all are forms of stealing. Stealing just monetary or items is not stealing, but stealing important social factors and rights is also stealing.
Brahmacharya is the continence Yama in yoga. This Yama in yoga tells that one must overcome the lust within them. As human beings, we all have a desire for mating. However, when a human gets too tilted in those activities then he/she gets attached to the world of desires.
In the accident time, the great sages used to follow Brahmacharya. It is believed that when they attained Brahmacharya, getting rid of lust and desire, they gained massive power and gained enlightenment.
The power of reproduction is one of the greatest gifts of the human body. This is also the most potent ability in the human body that requires a considerate amount of strength. When this type of potent power is stored in the body by taking the path of Brahmacharya, amazing things can awaken within the body.
It is the last of the five Yama in yoga. This Yama in yoga tells to let go of everything that one does not need. Our scriptures tell us that this is the material world and beyond this is the eternal spiritual world which is everlasting and non-destroying. In this material world no matter what it is it is not permanent, even the bodies where our soul lives are not permanent and are meant to be destroyed. So, instead of following the things that are temporary and will be in the possession of other people after some time, one needs to focus on the soul of the individual which is permanent and eternal.
We exist in a physical, mental, and spiritual state. We may think we are one single unit but are the combination of various things and complex entities. The same is with the energy supply system of our body. It is much more complex and involves various methods, ways and understandings to even understand the procedure briefly. One of the systems of the body is the Nadis, which are the small energy channels that are located all around the body and perform of supplying Pranas all over the body. The pranas are the vital life force that is present in all of us. There are mainly three and even among the three, there is Sushumna Nadi which plays the most vital role in the energy distribution and flow of the Prana.
This is the Nadi that is active at the center and said to be the most important. It performs various functions in the body and is believed to pave the road towards knowledge and salvation. There are various methods that the Yogi practice to awaken this Nadi as their goal is enlightenment and when activated Nadi will show the way to enlightenment. Yogi uses the power of Yoga and meditation to master this, Nadi. With effort, dedication, and discipline for a long amount of time, anyone can awaken this dormant power that lies in all of us.
Following are the functions of Sushumna Nadi:
Sushumna Nadi is the key channel within the body where the energy flows. This Nadi starts at the Muladhara and ends at the base of the spine. The most notable thing about this Nadi is that this Nadi system lies at the center of the body and passes through all the chakra points in the body. Since it passes directly through all the chakra points located in the body to the base of the spine, it automatically becomes the strongest of the energy supply system among the other Nadis. It is also known to energize the chakra points through which it passes.
Compared to the other Nadis, when other Nadis become disturbed it hampers the body to a level. However, when this Nadi becomes hampered, it will also disrupt the flow of energy in the chakra points of the body
Sushumna Nadi which is located at the center which is between Ida and Pingala Nadi is also known to govern over the six yang meridian lines.
Transfer of Prana
Prana is the subtle life energy that is ever-present within us. Prana is life itself and the true nature of life itself is subtlety. Prana is flowing through all of us through every organ and body part. Some parts need a higher concentration of Prana while some parts need a lower concentration but make no mistake each and everything needs Prana to be alive.
There are many Nadis in our body that transfer Prana to body parts. Some are important and named while some are not named but there is one that is the most important channel of Prana in the body that passes through even chakra points and that is Sushumna Nadi. Prana travels freely from the crown chakra to the root chakra through the Sushumna Nadi system.
Pathway to enlightenment
Enlightenment is a vast word that cannot be even defined in many books. Shortly we can say that it is the elevated state where one becomes one with the state of awareness. We are all aware to a certain level. In fact, with developed minds, humans are born with a certain level of awareness that is higher than that of animals. However, to go to the perfect cosmic level of awareness even humans must walk a difficult path that is going to challenge their beliefs and understanding.
Only a few have been able to sense this level of awareness and even a few have been able to achieve this level of awareness. It is believed that Sushumna Nadi is the path to enlightenment. Now, awakening does not necessarily grant enlightenment but opens the path that one has not noticed before in their lives right in front of them.
The Ida and Pingala Nadi are dominant in the left and right parts of the body. Ida looks at the right brain and the left part of the body while Pingala looks at the opposite part of the body. Most individuals can channel these Nadis and harness the gifts that are bestowed by them. They try, then awaken it and become satisfied with it. That is one of the many reasons why people are not able to move beyond Ida and Pingala.
Deep in their body there lies another dormant powerhouse that is even beyond the energy that you have tapped into. That is the very reason why Sushumna Nadi is also called the most significant aspect of human physiology. When Sushumna Nadi is activated and channels the Prana efficiently through it, the body becomes a receptor to various types of energy and power that one has never felt in their life.
Our mind is the most prominent part of our body. It is situated inside our head and lies in the topmost part of the body and is responsible for the overall functioning of the body. Our mind is a single organ. Yes, it may be true but, on the surface, the mind is the combination of various parts and fragments which is unique from other parts and have their unique functions. They are collectively working together to form a single mind. The mind has a mind level and even those levels have their types.
There are two types of mind levels, the inner mind, and the outer mind. The outer mind has three parts, conscious mind, subconscious mind, and unconscious mind. However, the inner mind level is divided into four parts supra-conscious, superconscious, supreme conscious, and cosmic conscious.
Let us begin to look at mind levels, starting from the outer mind and its types:
The conscious mind is the mind that is active on the surface, and one is currently aware of. It has a very volatile memory and passes memory to other parts of the mind. Simply, it is the part that is thinking about what you are thinking now. The mind that is on the surface and can be seen on the surface is only a fragment of our consciousness and mind. We can see that on the various mind level our conscious mind is the tip of the iceberg while a huge fragment of that iceberg remains underwater unseen by anyone.
This level of mind is the conscious and unconscious mind. This part stores the memory and experience that are sent by the conscious mind and returns it to it when the time of experience and past memory is needed. This mind is responsible for dreams and is more active when our conscious mind is not working, and it is during the time of sleeping.
It is said that the Subconscious mind is one of the most important parts of the mind itself. The subconscious mind is even more active and powerful than the conscious mind. It is the very reason why it is said that the mind is more active and powerful during sleep as it is the time when the subconscious mind. That is the very reason why some artists say that they sometimes compose their songs and music in their dreams and later write in the morning.
The unconscious mind is part of the outer mind level which acts as the reservoir of memory and feelings. This mind level is mostly the cause of our behavior, actions, and way of thinking which is based on core memory. Unlike the other part of the mind, this mind’s memory is not available for introspection. It is where the core memory is stored. Core memory is something that is at the core of the memory, and in fact, people are not even able to alter it or remember it.
Now, let us look at the types of inner mind levels and their types:
It is the type of mind that reaches the highest level of awareness of the human mind. Frankly speaking, it is even beyond the conscious and the subconscious mind. This mind is linked to the third eye chakra and is located between the center of two eyebrows. This mind is the link that one needs to tap into the state of energy by living in this material world.
Supra conscious mind
It consists of three words, Supra, conscious, and mind where supra means beyond. This is the level of mind that is beyond the conscious mind. There are many things beyond the outer and the conscious mind, which deal with energy and the realm beyond the world of matter. These inner mind levels exist in the physical plane but operate and connect with the spiritual realm. The supra-conscious mind level is beyond logic, consciousness, and even reality.
Supreme conscious mind
It is the mind that when activated provides the state of supreme consciousness. It is said that everything in this entire universe is changeable and with time changing all aspects is inevitable and the only thing that is going to remain constant and unchanging is the supreme consciousness. A supreme conscious mind provides a sense of equality for the individual who has activated it. They see each and everyone without any form of indifference and discrimination.
Cosmic conscious mind
The intellectual potential that is given by the cosmic conscious mind is called cosmic consciousness while the source or the mind which grants the connection to those is called the cosmic conscious mind. It is one of the ultimate states of the inner mind level, which when activated grants the ultimate knowledge of the cosmos itself.
The cosmos is the entire universe itself and the energy related to the cosmos is called cosmic energy. The cosmic mind level of the human body grants the individual the connection to knowledge and touch with the energy of the cosmos.
Niyama in yoga are the guidelines and duties of healthy living and a liberated state of the soul. Niyama is a Sanskrit word and when translated it means rules and Niyama in yoga are the rules of the life by which one should live. When one follows the saying of Niyama in yoga they get the satisfaction of the soul which is extremely hard to achieve otherwise.
There are a total of 5 Niyama in yoga. Let us look at all those Niyama in yoga in detail:
Sauch means cleanliness. This Niyama in yoga is all about cleanliness and clearness. It means the purity of both the mind and body. The mind is our inner self and is the first part of the process of Sauch. While the second is the body and is our external self by which we interact with the world.
Our outer body needs to be cleaned as well as our surroundings. Clean body and clean surroundings are the first aspects of healthy living. When the body and surroundings are unclean, it becomes the host of various diseases and conditions. However, when the environment and surroundings are cleaned the disease cannot exist there.
A clean mind is also as important as a clean body. When the mind is not clean it becomes host to various negative thoughts and feelings. Some thoughts and emotions are very harmful to one’s very existence so one needs to follow the rules of Sauch.
Santosha means satisfaction. This Niyama in yoga is all about getting happy with what one has. Human beings have endless desires and wishes. No matter who they are and in what position they are, their needs and desire are never going to get settled. A person may either be extraordinarily rich or extremely poor, they have a good life with basic needs or not, it does not matter most are not satisfied.
Santosha Niyama in yoga, tells everyone to be satisfied with what they have. Yes, one needs to always try to be their better self and strive for excellence. However, one also needs to be satisfied with what one has.
Tapas means self-discipline. This Niyama in yoga is all about living in the discipline. Discipline is another thing that sets humans apart from everyone. Animals can be trained to be disciplined, through fear and other means. However, they will never be in discipline to obtain something more or to get near to their soul, that is only what humans can do and that is what makes them very much special.
One needs to set boundaries and discipline themselves to achieve great things. Tapas in simple terms means austerity. May it be from sexual pleasure, or through the path of rejecting the world and material environment, the path is paved towards freedom and finding one’s greater self. Tapas Niyama in yoga assembles spiritual power through the process of austere. When all of the distractions are rejected and only focused on the soul, the one thing that truly matters wonders happens.
Svadhyaya means self-reflection. This Niyama in yoga is all about learning about yourself. The world is very big and mysterious, there are wonders and magic in every part of the world. It is amazing how much there are. However, while looking at the vastness and everything about the world we forget to see ourselves. The eyes and the body that are watching and experiencing this vast and entire world are also as worthy and amazing as the world which deserves knowing, studying and reflection.
We are a soul that is living in this body. Most of us think that we are body and experience the world through it, trying to figure out the world. However, we also need to figure out ourselves and that is what Niyama in yoga tells. When one closes their eyes to the world then they see themselves, the real them which is hidden from the world even themselves. One can meditate, think about their actions, practice yoga to self-reflect.
Ishvarapranidhana means to surrender to higher power or Ishvara. This Niyama in yoga is about giving yourself to the almighty. Here higher power means Para Brahma who is the source of everything. By everything, it means the source of all of the life, non-living, living everything is Para Brahma. Even we are all part of the eternal soul.
Eternal peace and eternal bliss are only obtained when one truly connects with Parabrahma. We all have the fragment of God inside of us but without realizing it and working we are never going to activate the connection. Ishvarapranidhana Niyama in yoga tells the way to surrender oneself to the higher power and make the way to bliss.
There are various questions regarding what or who is Ishvara. Ishvara depends upon the individual. Meaning that Ishvara is not a specific god or entity, they can be anyone with a personal connection to the individual.
Prana is a Sanskrit word, and it translates to life. Prana is also used to denote the air in the human body and is collectively said to be prana Vayu. Air is one of the four elements that give life to a living being. When talking about the Vayu in the body most only think about respiration and breathing, however, the air is more than just breathing and is present in various parts doing various functions. There are five of them and they are collectively known as the Pancha Prana Vayu.
Air is the life in all of us, without air we cannot be alive. Since it is the most constant element, we need it in the body at any time. It is called prana Vayu. Yes, other elements are also very important like water, earth, and space but nothing is required as instantly as the air. We need to take in the air every time to be alive. Air plays a much more important role in the body than just breathing. Let us look at the Pancha prana and its role in the body.
Prana Pancha pranas
This is the main and first of the Pancha pranas. This is the process of breathing and from the nose to the lungs, every organ is involved in this action. In this through the help of the lungs, windpipe, mouth, and nose air is constantly taken into the body and constantly thrown out of the body continuously. This Pancha prana is called the prana (life) itself because it is the life element in the body continuously filling the body with life energy. Aside from the lungs, this prana is also responsible for the heart. This Pancha Prana has upward movement.
Apana Pancha pranas
Apana Pancha prana is the second of the five Pancha prana. This type of Vayu in the body moves downward. The organs below the lungs are responsible for this type of Vayu. The urinary system, small and large intestine, and kidney are the major organs that are associated with this prana. The function of this prana in the body is the elimination of the waste in the body through urination and bowel movement. Apana Pancha prana actively moves the waste out of the body for the efficient functioning of the body. When this Vayu in the body gets weakened or imbalanced the individual suffers from problems like constipation, piles, etc.
Samana Pancha pranas
Samana Pancha prana is the third of the five Pancha prana. This Vayu does not work like the prana and Apana in the most noticeable way but works very subtly. This Vayu is active in the organs like the liver, pancreas, stomach, and small and large intestine. The purpose of this Vayu in our body is to digestion the nutrients in the body and collect them in the required organs and system.
The work of this Vayu is very subtle but also one of the most important as it is responsible for balancing and providing the required nutrients for the body to function better and well. When this Pancha prana in the body is not working correctly then an individual may face problems regarding nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and digestion-related problems.
Udana Pancha pranas
Udana Pancha prana works in the upper part of the body. This Pancha prana acts in the face and throat region. Inside of the head is the most important organ of the body which is the brain. It is responsible for everything; our consciousness is our brain. Udana Pancha prana also performs the task of providing oxygen to the brain. Apart from all these functions, Udana Pancha prana is also responsible for the movement of the hands and legs. When this Pancha prana in the body is disturbed then various functions in the head region, as well as the efficient functioning of the hands and legs, are disturbed.
Vyana Pancha pranas
This is the final of the Pancha pranas. This prana is very different from all of the other pranas and their working process. Others work in specific organs and parts, but Vyana Pancha pranas work in every part of the body. Also, the functioning of the Vyana Vayu is at the cellular level. The function of the Vyana Pancha prana is to transport the required nutrients and minerals to the various parts of the body.
It is the function of the blood to transport the nutrients and other vital elements to the various parts of the body and the Vyana Pancha prana also works within that very domain. In the cases of shortage of nutrients and minerals in the various parts of the body, this Pancha pranas sends the required nutrients and elements for better healing and efficient functioning of the body. It can also be said that it is the reserve for energy that gets more active when there is scarcity in the various places of the body.
Our body is extremely complex and is dependent on various complex systems and energy transfer to keep us alive. There are systems, chakras, and Nadis. They all transfer energy from one place to another keeping us alive. There are many Nadis and among these is the Ida Nadi which is among the most important energy systems of our body.
Origin of Ida Nadi
It is believed that there are 72,000 Nadis in the human body. They are located at various parts of the body, some located very close to each other’s while some are far from each other, but these vast numbers are still present inside of our body. The most notable are the three Nadis that are Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna.
We are talking about Ida Nadi, and it is located in the head region of our body. It is not an exact point and extends from one organ to another. It is believed that Ida Nadi originates in Muladhara and extends to the left nostril.
Color of Ida Nadi
Ida Nadi is represented with the color white.
Characteristics of Ida Nadi in our body:
While Ida Nadi has many characteristics one of the major characteristics of this Nadis is that it has feminine energy. It may be confusing, and the male readers say that they are male and how can they have feminine energy in their Nadi. However, one must understand that our sex may be male or female, but our entire body is made by the combination of both male and female energy. The entire cosmos is made by the combination of Purush and Prakriti.
Our body is constructed with various energy and various elements. They all carry their characteristics within us. Ida Nadi carries a calm character within it. All have Ida Nadi which carries a calm nature, but it must be highly active for the person to inherit the calm nature of Ida Nadi.
Associated with the moon
Ida Nadi is also associated with a cosmic body, and it is the moon. The moon is always linked with water and calm energy which cools down everything. The moon is linked with water and water is the symbol of calm energy, which also may be one of the perceptive to look at.
The left side of the body and right side of the mind
Our brain is divided into two parts, the right brain, and the left brain. Coincidentally, either side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body. For example, on the right side of the brain, the right brain governs the left part of the body and vice versa. The right brain is also called the logical brain and is linked with Ida Nadi along with the left part of the body.
The following are the functions of Ida Nadi in our body:
Transport Prana to the nervous system of the body
Prana is the life energy that is flowing through our body all the time. With the help of Nadis, this energy is transported to all parts of the body. It is the life energy whose constant flow to the body parts keeps us alive. If the Prana flow stops in the body an individual meets his end.
Ida Nadi supplies prana to the nervous system of the body. There are many functions of Ida prana, but this has to be the most important function of this Nadi as without it supplying prana to the nervous system no human being can be alive. Even disruption of the flow of prana to the nervous system can wreak havoc on our bodies. It can even hamper the way of thinking as well as the personality of the individual.
Every individual has all kinds of Nadis in their body; however, the most important thing is how active the Nadis are in their bodies. The individuals that have their Ida Nadi are more active and dominant than the other Nadis and are very calm. Even in desperate and demanding situations, they can act calmly and collectively.
Feminine energy balancing
Feminine energy is a source of various things. Even males need to have feminine energy in their body which is the source of various functions and powers of the body. Energy is linked with fertility, nurture, and even the growth of the entire body. Ida Nadi, when activated and in good condition provides the benefits of having a good amount of feminine energy in the body.
Ida Nadi is very important for individuals. However, there is a catch that the people who wave active Ida Nadi will have massive potential, but it will be incomplete as they will lack the will to live a balanced life or pursue yogic practices. Ida Nadi provides them with the lunar side and all they need to do is awaken their solar side to complete their potential with the goal and will to travel to that goal.