Yama is the diamond of enquiry through which consciousness expresses itself in the human bodimind.
For yoga posture praxis to be more than the self-indulgent practice of posturing, it needs to be genuine self enquiry.
Enquiry is the natural expression of human intelligence, and does not need to be imposed nor even practiced. It does, however, need
to be focussed within to become self enquiry. Whatever interest we may have in self enquiry is deeply challenged by our habits of mind, and so
we need a lens to focus enquiry into what is actually happening within.
This lens is yama, the first of the eight limbs (ashtanga) of Yoga. The five principles of internalisation, ahimsa (sensitivity), satya (honesty), asteya (openness), brahmacharya (intimacy) and aparigraha (generosity), are natural expressions of the intelligence of consciousness. They can not, and do not need to, be imposed. Instead by using them as lenses, by comitting ourselves to continuously enquire into whether or not they are present, they become more often and easily present.
This enquiry increases their presence without any struggle, effort, knowledge or intention required, simply because they are the dynamics through which consciousness naturally expresses its impulse to enquire. Then, without any need for struggle, ambition, specialised knowldege or skills the deep transformative power of consciousness is released simply through enquiring into what is actually happening.