The first of eight limbs in Patanjali's Raja Yoga are the Yamas. Yamas are considered to be kinds of restraints or social conduct.
The first and most important yama is Ahimsa, or non-violence. Why? Because all of what we are doing on the path is leading towards Peace.
Deep Inner, Ever-Lasting Peace is where we are headed and so it is counter intuitive to make pain, choose harm.
The obvious take on this code is to not physically harm one's self or others. While meditating I saw how deep this Yama could go and its subtlty. Does this mean I have to use nicey-nicey language at all times? No more cussing when a screwball situation slaps me in the face?- (See that last sentence could be classified as violence!) No, it means not speaking in ways that could hurt others, as in an attack or petty gossip.
Does this mean restraining from violent thoughts or thoughts that could possibly harm others? - Yes it does. We have no private thoughts. We are always exposed for those who care to see. And when we hurt others, we ultimately hurt ourselves and destroy our Peace.
Does this mean stepping aside when we are attempting to modify another's process, in the motivation of doing what is best for them? Here is the grey area, especially for care takers of those less able to speak or act for themselves. How deeply we must appreciate and connect with the work we are doing to do it well.
Now what of the environment? How we care for our planet is obviously in need. Many of us are re-learning our approach to life on this earth. Yet what of the energetic environment? How can we become more responsible and aware of the clouds we carry behind us that could be possibly blocking the Sun for others? Often times what is so obvious to those around us is obscured from ourselves.
and so to have more Self-awareness
with less self-conciousness and more self-acceptance
because Peace has no attachments
Social Conduct , Restraint- No Harm, Ahimsa.
What follows are Protection and Respect- the gifts of Saturn.