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Philosophy

What the Yama Can Teach You About Cultural Appropriation

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When you’re learning the yama—ethical guidelines laid out in the first of Patanjali’s eight-limb path—it’s easy to oversimplify their meanings. For instance, let’s take asteya (non-stealing). Because you’d never pocket an organic peanut butter cup at your local market, it’s easy to feel as though you got it: box, checked. However, you’d be disconnected from its profound, subtle teachings that can transform the way you practice yoga, make choices in the way you teach, and ultimately live your life.

In the video above, yoga teacher Rina Deshpande, who leads our new online courseThe Culture & Practice of the Yama, reveals how understanding asteya can inspire you to embrace (not appropriate) yoga’s roots and evolution.

Read also Break Down What Anjali Mudra Really Means in Yoga

Want more? Join Rina Deshpande, Ed.M., MS.T., RYT-500—teacher, writer, artist, and poet—for her new six-week online course, The Culture & Practice of the Yama. Through lectures, holistic practices, reflections, and discussions on yoga’s roots and evolution, Rina will bring depth and nuance to your understanding of this rich philosophy, infusing your daily life, practice, and teaching with meaning. Learn more and sign up today!

Read also What’s the Difference Between Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Appreciation?