Limb 1 – Abstention from Evildoing

Yamas (abstention from evildoing) 
Yamas refers to ethical restraints, or appropriate social behaviour; how you treat others and the world around you.   This limb is to make one think and behave in ways that bring peace and harmony to the world. 

Ahimsa (non-violence)
To have compassion for all living things.  You should never harm or be cruel to anyone or anything.  In every situation we should be kind and thoughtful, considering how our thoughts and actions affect other people and things.   

Satya (truthfulness) 
Always be truthful; to think and consider the consequences of your actions before saying or doing anything.  If the truth could harm others, sometimes it is better to be silent (in accordance with Ahimsa). 

Asteya (non-stealing) 
This means not only not stealing others possessions, but also being mindful of not taking advantage, or betraying a confidence for selfish motives, or taking something that has not been freely given.

Bramacharya (non-lust or sense control)
This doesn’t mean celibacy, but that one should behave responsibly to achieve self control; not to use sexual energy in any way to harm others.  One should not give in to excessive desires, but form relationships that help us along the yogic path towards finding truth.

Aparigraha (non-possessiveness) 
We should not be greedy; only take what we are due, or have earned.  Nor should we take advantage of a situation, exploit anyone, or hoard things.  Hoarding means we are attached to material things and the aim of yoga is to become non-attached.

Bringing the Yamas into your daily life spreads happiness and contentment and benefits everyone you come into contact with.