New House Rules: Yamas and Niyamas
Sibling fighting has kicked into high gear at our house this week and it is an unfamiliar, very unpleasant new life stage.
As an only child, growing up with only a few extended family members nearby, I have virtually no experience with this! And navigating the almost constant bickering over toys, stuffed animals, TV shows, attention, sippy cups, really anything… is quickly becoming exhausting.
I started to think about how yoga philosophy could guide me in the matter and instantly started rolling through the yamas and niyamas in my mind. Not only would these yogic principles help with navigating sibling differences, but they could also be valuable guidelines for our entire household.
Then, I remembered the most exciting part — this information is already laid out beautifully in ChildLight’s Yoga & Mindfulness for Children Teacher Training Manual!
I decided to put these core yogic principles on the wall in our living room as a prominent reminder of the standards we should all strive to live by every day. It gave our family the chance to sit down, pause and talk about some of the ways we can show kindness to a sibling and how we can all be more mindful of our interactions moving forward.
Print the infographic and enjoy the song that goes with it here if you think it could be of benefit in your life too. 🙏🏼
Here are some added ideas to go more in-depth with these principles:
1. Be Peaceful / Ahimsa
- Do no harm.
- Be gentle, kind, respectful and loving in thought, word and deed.
- Be tolerant and accept other points of views.
2. Be Honest / Satya
- Tell the truth.
- Be yourself.
- Consider how to tell the truth while remaining peaceful.
3. Be Generous / Asteya
- Be quick to share.
- Don’t take what isn’t yours.
4. Practice Moderation / Brahmacharya
- All things in moderation.
- Practice self-control.
5. Let Go / Aparigraha
- Let go of things that are not good for you.
- Be flexible.
- Get comfortable with change.
6. Be Clean / Saucha
- Take care of yourself– body and mind.
- Take care of your community and the Earth.
7. Be Content / Santosha
- See the positive in everything.
- Have an internal sense of peacefulness.
8. Work Hard / Tapas
- Be disciplined and build good habits.
- Always do your best.
- Finish what you start. Don’t give up!
9. Rest & Reflect / Svadhyaya
- Be reflective.
- Spend time with yourself. Know yourself.
- Take time for quiet. Be OK with being still.
10. Believe in Something Bigger / Ishvara-Pranidhana
- Connect to nature and to the vast universe.
- Understand that you are not the center of it all.
- Surrender the things you cannot control.