Written by: OM Matters Founder, Tambra Wayne
As my close friends and family know, I have always been on a path of personal growth and self-development. Right before launching OM Matters, I completed a 10-week course called “Embodying Ethics and Vows in Modern Life” with Michael Stone and Elaine Jackson. The course consisted of learning about and practicing the yamas, the 1st limb of the 8 Limbs of Yoga outlined in the Yoga Sūtras written by Patañjali around 250 B.C.E.
As I wrote about in a previous post, the yamas break down to 5 practices:
- Ahimsā – not harming; not having the intention to harm anyone or anything
- Satya – honesty—or listening, speaking, and acting from the heart in each moment
- Asteya – not stealing; being satisfied with what you have
- Bramacharya – the wise use of creative energy
- Aparigrahā – non-possessiveness, not clinging to things, people, ideas
Michael’s weekly talks on this subject were powerfully inspiring to me. Instead of feeling that the yamas are rules that I must follow in order to be a good person, he inspired me to want to embody these values so I can create a better environment for myself and those around me. It really hit me that I need to first be non-harming (ahimsā) to me. I have always been so self critical wherein nothing I do is good enough. Not only is this attitude harmful to me, but it is harmful to those I love the most. I intellectually know that I will be happy if I’m less judgmental of myself. And when I am kind to myself I am kinder to others. This course helped me to see clearly how my actions towards myself affect how I treat others---everything is interconnected, we are one. I highly recommend this course!