Yamas, and its complement, Niyamas, represent a series of “right living” or ethical rules within Yoga. These are a form of moral imperatives, commandments, rules of living.

The five Yamas of Patañjali’s classical yoga system are committments that affect the yogi’s relations with others. The five Niyamas of Patañjali’s classical yoga system are personal obligations to live well.

The five yamas listed by Patañjali in Yogasūtra 2.30 are:

Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Non-violence, non-harming other living beings
Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood
Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य): celibacy, non-cheating on one’s partner
Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice, non-possessiveness