Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Two of the limbs of Patanjali's eight limbed path, the Yamas and the Niyams, are a kind of treasure map. In my opinion. Bit weird. Bare with me...
This isn't going to be your standard interpretation of the Yamas and Niyams.
Just so you know. I don't tend to do standard.
Odd - yep. Weird - yep yep. Slightly off key - yes. Most peculiar...oh definitely, nailed that years ago.
Normal, standard, what you'd expect...not so much.
I think of these lifestyle guides (not in the Cosmopolitan/Marie Claire way) as a map towards the very thing we all want.
Peace. Inner peace. Outer peace. Just fucking peace. Contentment. Home.
To be at home and at peace within ourselves. To release the conflicts internally and externally that bind us to a life of doubt, guilt, sadness, anger, jealousy and misery.
The Yamas (the don't fucking do thats)–
• Ahimsa: nonviolence, just generally, try not to attack things.
• Satya: truthfulness, try not to lie, too much unless completely necessary. I think it’s all right to say someone looks great when they look like shit (please bear in mind I am altering these to suit my own agenda).
• Asteya: non-stealing. Leave other peoples shit alone, thoughts, work, things. If it’s not freely given, it is not yours.
• Brahmacharya: non-excess. This one often gets interpreted as celibacy. I see it more as one chocolate bar, not six in one go. That’s just me. Try not to take everyfuckingthing to the extreme.
• Aparigraha: non-possessiveness, non-greed. Not everything you want is yours. Not always good to get what we want, sometimes it isn’t what we need (isn’t that a song?).
Now the Niyamas (the try and fucking do thats), bet you can’t wait for my interpretation of those.
I honestly don’t know how or why the Yamas and Niyamas are in boxes, I didn’t do it. I put the bullet points in accidentally, couldn’t remove them and now there are boxes. Not especially keen on boxes, but I’m surrendering to them, because that’s part of my journey.
Not surrendering to boxes as such. I don’t approve of boxes or labels, unless I’m doing the labeling and boxing of course, that's different, but surrendering to life generally.
I’m giving that a go. Have to say, it's not really working out so far. So far it seems to mainly consist of chaos.
And, as a Virgo control freak, it completely sucks. The letting it flow. Letting the shit stuff go - like a cloud surfing away on the palest opalescent sky. Embracing the liberation that is the essence of yoga (art college, remember, I can’t help it).
And also because tech support (my geek ex-partner) won’t help with the tech shit, which you can't let flow, because it doesn't flow, it just fucks up (if you're me and allergic to the tech shit).
I think I annoy him. I’ve got to tell him that I accidentally (on purpose, nooo, surely not) threw a cup of tea all over his X-box.
Herbal infusion of cistus in case you thought, oh nice, normal with milk and sugar? Biscuits, lovely.
Nope. I don’t contaminate my precious temple of a body in that way, because my precious temple will revolt and throw it all back up again. It’s a bastard like that.
Nothing as simple as Tetley here. Nothing as nice either.
Actually, is that an Xbox (apparently it’s all one word, just looked it up, no hyphen, who knew)? Or one of the other contraptions he does stuff on that I have no interest in? He’s mainly Batman, as far as I can tell. I have pointed out that I’m more Batman than he is, but he doesn’t care.
No idea which device I’ve drenched, anyway. It’s shiny and black and now very possibly broken. Upside down on the radiator, do you think? I’ve tried blowing on it. It’s currently wrapped in a towel.
Bollocks. Hang on, I’ll be back after device drying has taken place.
Oooh would you look at that. The boxes went while I was out of the room. The universe obviously doesn't approve of boxes either. Only explanation.
Sorry, the Niyamas, which basically focus on our inner shit in order to cultivate happiness and contentment, so not downing whiskey by the gallon to get through the day kind of stuff.
• Saucha: purity, inside and out. You know detox and shit, keep stuff clean. Your body, your mind, maybe even your home. And maybe don’t spill shit on your partners stuff either and consider lying about it.
• Santosha: contentment, finding happiness within the tiniest things, being grateful especially when there isn’t much to be grateful for. Tough one.
• Tapas: self-discipline, one hundred sit-ups before breakfast please, followed by a tongue scraping, oil pulling, a cold shower and sauerkraut juice. Or, ooor find a routine and way of living that make you feel good (not in the high kind of way chocolate and cocaine might), and keep it up, like it matters.
• Svadhyaya: the study of the self (never try and say it out loud), inner exploration (not in a rude way).
• Ishvara Pranidhana: now there’s a fun one to spell. Surrender (to the impossibility of ever remembering that one).
Ahimsa will be covered in the next post. Bet you can barely contain yourselves.
My interpretation - How not to kill people who annoy you.
I feel I should have some kind of award for this one.
I have not murdered a single other person. Yet.