Volume 26, December 2021
Yoga, Ethics and Philosophy
While yoga has come to be seen as more of an exercise than anything else in the West, the roots of yoga are similar to those of philosophy and religion. There is a philosophically rich view on the nature of the world, being, the nature of humanity, how we ought to live, and our place in the world. The theoretical part of yoga has been called a religion as well as a philosophy and this paper argues that it should be treated as a philosophy. Yoga gives reasons for the theoretical views, reasons for the practice, and encourages practitioners to continuously study, reflect, and search for knowledge of "eternal truths". This paper focuses on the ethical restraints of yoga – the yamas – in order to show the connections to the Dualistic metaphysical view of the universe and the epistemological goals expressed in The Yoga Sutras.