There is no doubt, with Hatha Yoga and its explosion in popularity in the west, that physical poses (asanas) have become very prominent. Yes, it is a great feeling to touch your toes, balance on your hands etc. But what is the point?
Ahimsa is the first of the five vows depicted in the yamas. The yamas are the first of the eight limbs presented in the yoga sutras of Patanjali. Iyengar refers to them as ‘universal vows’ (Iyengar, 143, 1993) in his commentary on the sutras, and thus, should be adopted by all yoga practitioners. They act as a framework on which all forthcoming practice can flourish.