First, the original Yamas or Universal Principles from Patanjali, then my example.
- Ahimsa: Non-harming, compassion for self and others. Know that if you say something nasty to your sib, it will stick and you WILL hear about it at Thanksgiving when you are 47.
- Satya: Truthfulness in thought word and action. Don’t even think about lying to your mother, because she will eventually figure it out and hold it over your head forever.
- Asteya: Non-stealing; not taking what is not one’s own, belief in abundance. Just because you lost your watch doesn’t mean you can take your sibling’s watch to go running. Additionally, stomping around the house and accusing everyone of taking your watch is also stealing, you are stealing our peace, quiet, and good will.
- Bramacharya: moderation in all actions including sexuality. Three or four cookies is enough. They are not an excuse to go on an eating binge. Enjoy the cookies, have some milk, stop and be grateful for fresh from the oven cookies.
- Aparigraha: non-greed; generosity in spirit and action. It’s not that hard to take out the trash or pick up your socks. So do it just to be nice, not because your mom is turning red.
Next, the original Niyamas or Individual Precepts, then my example.
- Saucha: cleanliness, purity, treating the body as a temple; care for one’s physical surroundings. It’s not okay to eat in your bedroom and then leave the sticky remains on a plate until it moulders or attracts ants. Additionally, if your face is breaking out, just go wash it and put on some benzyol peroxide. Don’t pick! We can tell the difference!
- Santosha: contentment, acceptance of the things as they are (but not resignation) gratitude. Stop talking about how you wish you had a bigger bootie. Love yourself, lots of people wish they looked like you, be grateful for your big eyes and graceful fingers and a**-kicking roundhouse kick.
- Tapas: ardor, discipline, passion, fire. Follow your dreams. The things you love at 11 are the things you love your whole life. Don’t stop, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. But, see #3 above, you can be passionate about something, but that doesn’t give you the right to insist that everyone else drop what they are doing to help you fulfill your carpool/destination needs.
- Svadhyaya: self-study; reflection, discernment, willingness to grow. Go ahead, take ukelele lessons, sign up for that Costa Rica immersion program, just see # 2 (Satya–truth telling) first. Reflect and be sure you are honest with yourself about what you want to do and what your true motivation is.
- Isvarapranjdhana: surrendering the fruits of action to the divine. Dedication to a higher purpose. Once you are sure you want to do something, do it, but don’t complain to me if it doesn’t work out. Take responsibility for your part in the outcome. Did you prepare enough? Yes? Then, be okay with the fact that sometimes things are unfair.