Yoga’s Ten Principles

Yoga is a complex integrated system, which has a history of more than 5,000 years. Beginners can be easily overwhelmed by the vastness of the yoga practice, it’s philosophy, and it’s literature. Here are a few key principles that will help you understand better the numerous aspects of Yoga.

Ten Key Fundamental Principles

  1. Yoga is what is traditionally called a liberation teaching. It guides us to free ourselves from our historical limitations of who and what we were to become something greater and better.
  2.   To truly learn and understand Yoga, you should be instructed if possible by a teacher, whether in a class or even on a DVD. This is essential for ultimate success in Yoga. It is possible, however, to benefit from a yogic practice without instruction as any form of yoga is better than none at all.
  3.   Because everybody has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, Yoga has various styles that have been developed over time.
  4.   Yoga is a journey of theory and practice. In order to engage Yoga properly and successfully, one must pay attention to the ideas behind its practical disciplines and to the exercises and techniques encompassing its theories. This calls for thoughtful and mindful practice. For instance, the regular and correct practice of the yogic postures will definitely help us maintain good physical health.
  5.   All forms of Yoga have as their foundation of a sound moral life, there are basic laws. They stand for moral virtues like nonviolence, truthfulness, and abstention from theft, compassion and kindness. Basically, you could say it’s about living a positive life. Without a firm grounding in these moral principles, Yoga cannot lead us to its ultimate goal of liberation.
  6.   However simple a particular yogic approach may be, all approaches require a huge commitment. If we fear change and cling to our old habits, we cannot succeed in Yoga. The practice of Yoga calls for considerable personal effort, which involves self-discipline.
  7.   Yoga is made up of a lot of practice, both physical and mental. These can be broken down into two major categories:
    The first is the repeated performance of exercises or techniques that are intended to produce a positive state of mind in us.
    The second is the complementary practice of letting go of old behaviour patterns, habits or attachments that hold us back
  8.   Focus is the key to making improvements with yoga. With focus comes control and power. The power in question is the energy of consciousness itself.
  9.   Get back to basics, the more we untangle our lives the better our life will become.
  10.   Yoga is a progressive process of replacing our unconscious thought patterns and behaviour with new, more beneficial patterns that are helpful towards a better life. It takes time to achieve this goal of self-transformation, and therefore practitioners of Yoga must first practice patience.

We must be willing to commit to a lifetime of yogic practice. There must be a basic want to grow, regardless of whether or not we will achieve enlightenment in this lifetime. It is one of Yoga’s fundamental beliefs that no effort is ever wasted, even the slightest attempt at transforming ourselves makes a difference. It is our patient cumulative effort that grows into self-realization sooner or later.