The Yamas and Niyamas are the ethical and moral guidelines prescribed in the Ashtanga Yoga system of Patanjali. The Yamas are the five ethical principles that guide our relationship with the external world, while the Niyamas are the five inner observances that guide our relationship with ourselves.
The Yamas are Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy or control of sexual energy), and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
The Niyamas are Saucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study), and Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to a higher power).
While each Yama and Niyama is distinct, they are also interconnected and interdependent. For example, Saucha (purity) can be related to Brahmacharya (celibacy or control of sexual energy) because a clean and pure body and mind are necessary for practicing Brahmacharya. Similarly, Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satya (truthfulness) are closely related, as it is impossible to practice one without the other. Asteya (non-stealing) and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness) are also related, as the desire to possess what belongs to others often leads to stealing.
Overall, the Yamas and Niyamas work together to guide practitioners towards a life of integrity, compassion, and self-awareness. By practicing these ethical and moral principles, one can cultivate a strong foundation for their spiritual journey towards enlightenment.