Yama Yoga Store Looks at Niyama (Knee-Yam-Ah) the Second of the Eight Limbs of Yoga
We covered the Yamas and a short description of the Eight Limbs of Yoga in a previous Blog. Click on the link ahead if you need more information as this blog proceeds the first limb of the Yoga tree. This is the second limb of Patanjali's complete Eight Limb Yoga system called the Niyama's. There are five Niyamas and are your basic codes of conduct for living. Niyama is an kind of an extension of the Yamas. In a nutshell, these are the habits of healthy living. This particular limb helps us to obtain strength both inside and out in which to grow our spiritual life.
The following are the Niyamas:
1. Shausha: Cleanliness 101! Impurities in or outside of us can affect our state of mind and practice. Purity starts in the mind and then a natural inclination for clean speech, clean action, and a clean environment will follow. Think about tidying up your office or home space. Try adding yogi inspired accents or essential oils to the space with a diffuser. I use Palo Santo and incense to clear the air or bring in beautiful aromas to open up my room for Yoga.
2. Santosha: Contentment with your stuff. Don’t compare yourself to others. Be cool with your lot! The idea is simple and yet ...well ...hard for some people to grip that change. Making comparisons is how we gauge ourselves and grow when we are young. It's easy to stay on that pattern of mind into adulthood, but not very zen. If we are comparing ourselves to others and not content we struggle and our bodies and attitudes will follow. Try and find ways to establish this idea - the best for me was to simply say my gratitudes daily and to use gratitude as an opener for holidays, meals and of course, Yoga.
3. Tapas: Hello, this is your mental control, not a Spanish snack! This Niyama is your commitment to completing a goal no matter how challenging! Whew, this one is tough but certainly builds character. Even better this Niyama asks that you achieve a goal without that pat on the back or any other motivation...not even a snack! If you haven't been able to go deep into that pose you have been working on try a strap to help deepen your practice and make that goal happen.
4. Svadhyaya: (Svad-hi-Yaya) I always have a rough time pronouncing this one, - I'm working on it. Simply said, self-study leads to an awakening of your truth and true potential. Try using a practice of reflection and introspection by the recitation of the Vedas and other sacred texts or writing a blog or reading what resonates with your nature. This can help you bring about your inner truth. It's all about self discovery and exploration! When we have introspection it also may help us understand how to live on this earth kindly and with the inhabitants of it. (I know you are thinking of that guy who cut you off at the traffic light today...try and get along!)
5. Ishvara Pranidhana: (Ish-va-ra-pra-nid-hah-na) The reason this one comes last in the Niyama sequence is, in its translation, the Yogis have expressed that if you master this Niyama you would not need to practice the others. This is a true and deep surrendering to the higher self or true self by leaving the "little me" or I behind and cultivating a relationship with the universe. Here we get an understanding of how to offer our actions to both the divine and humanity. This is the true practice of letting go, let go!
"Through intimate listening to this voice within us, we begin to have a relationship with inner guidance in all aspects of our life." Shiva Rea
Think about moving into that Niyama space!
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Yama Yoga Store
Sat Nam ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ.
Soorya Kirti Kaur