High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! A yama (Sanskrit) literally "death", is a rule or code of conduct for living which will help bring a compassionate death to the ego or "the lower self". THe yamas comprise the "shall-not" in our dealings with the external world as the Niyamas comprise the "shall-do" in our dealings with the inner world. TEn Yamas are codified as "the restraints" in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varaha Upanishads, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, and the Tirumantiram of Tirumular. PAtañjali lists only five yamas in his Yoga Sutras. IN Raja Yoga, observance of the abstinences, or yamas, help attain a healthy mind and body. AS Hatha Yoga is the yoga for attaining control over the mortal body, the yamas (together with the niyamas) are its essential first two steps. FUrther, the Patanjali states that it is not enough to observe them for their individual ends (i.E. Eradication of hostility, conquering self, etc.); one must follow them without a desire for any end goals. THe secret to attainment of these is to harness the mind into thinking of the opposite of the element one needs to overcome.