The Yama & Niyamas: Yogic Core Values
Within traditional yogic teachings, there exists what is called the five Yamas and the five Niyamas. These are often described as yoga's "moral codes" or "right ways of living" - similar in a way to the 10 commandments. However, this isn't really about right and wrong in black and white terms. The idea behind cultivating these core values into our daily life is that it builds towards a more balanced and aware state of being, which in turn leads to greater levels of happiness and, more importantly, meaning.
Who doesn't want to feel happier, more balanced, aware, and free? As someone who highly values personal growth and wellness, I definitely strive for this myself, and I also know how difficult it can be to stay true to this path when this world often presents us with darkness and hardship. I believe application of these concepts works best when we view them as suggestions for better living and prioritize them on in a relaxed, creative fashion. This way we may practically integrate the Yamas and Niyamas into the demands of our everyday lives without all the unnecessary guilt that arises from our typical perfectionistic standards as a society.
We have to consider these practices were originally created during a different time and place in history, so it's important that we apply them to our lives as we exist today - with all the cultural, social, and technological demands and norms that we face. It's about always doing our best - not being perfect - and our best can change from day to day, hour to hour!