I wrote an article “The Yamas and Niyamas in Population Health,” which came out last month in the IAYT magazine, Yoga Therapy Today.
What do yoga ethics have to do with improving health care outcomes, you may ask?
To begin with, there is well established evidence that lifestyle affects health.
In terms of lifestyle choices, yamas can guide positive interactions with others – what scientists call “Pro-social” behavior. Niyamas are about how we conduct our own lives or what could be called “Personal Integration.” Ethics and morality can improve not only our personal health, but the way in which health providers offer care, the way in which institutions such as health insurance and policy makers think about providing care, and the way in which we seek to take care of our community and our society as a whole.
Here’s an excerpt:
“The yamas and niyamas can be utilized as a lens for biopsychosocialspiritual decision making. They promote prosocial behavior (yamas) and personal integration (niyamas), as well as an orientation toward a nonsectarian spirituality. While aspects of the yamas and niyamas can be found in every major religion, they can be considered trans-religious, beyond the boundaries of any particular tradition. According to Georg Feuerstein, ‘The foundation of Yoga, as of all authentic spirituality, is a universal ethics.'”
Hope you enjoy. Feeback is always welcome!
Here’s the pdf yamas-and-niyamas-in-population-health