Before we go into the “How” part, let us briefly focus on the “What” part.
Yama and Niyama are ethical principles and guidelines laid out by the great sage Patanjali in Yoga Sutra, which describe how to lead one’s life.
These are the first two limbs of Patanjali’s eightfold path. In a nutshell, Yama describes “social and ethical practices”, while Niyama describes “observances of self-discipline”.
In this blog, we will be going through what the Yama and Niyama principles comprise of and how these two Magical and Transformational principles can be applied to our yoga practice.
- Ahimsa: Non-violence
- Satya: Truthfulness
- Asteya: Non-Stealing
- Brahmacharya: Continence
- Aparigraha: Non-Possessiveness
- Saucha: Purity, Cleanliness
- Santosha: Contentment
- Tapas: Self- Discipline
- Svadhyaya: Self- Study
- Ishvara Pranidhana: Surrender to the Higher Self
Let us remind ourselves of the five Yamas before entering the Yoga class. Let us practice and implement the following values while practicing Yoga.
Ahimsa – Non-violence
- Let us not strain or harm our body by pushing too much while practicing either asana or pranayama
Satya – Truthfulness
- Let us be honest with ourselves, accept our limitations and act accordingly.
Asteya – Non-Stealing
- Let us not feel that we lack something and copy others.
Brahmacharya – Continence
- Let us channelize the energy and stay centered, focused on the practice.
Aparigraha – Non Possessiveness
- Let us not be over possessive about the materialistic things, instead let us look inwards.
Now, let us remember the five Niyamas before entering the sacred space within us, through the practice of Yoga.
Saucha – Cleanliness
- Cleanliness is not only limited to the external body i.e. our physical body but also to the internal body i.e. our mind. Let us focus on both internal and external cleansing.
Santosha – Contentment
- Let us be content with ourselves while practicing asana and pranayama and experience the ease of doing the same.
Tapas – Self Discipline, Austerity
- Let us be regular and consistent with our practice.
Svadhyaya – Self Study
- Let us spend some time in learning yogic concepts at a deeper level and also practice self-inquiry.
Isvara Pranidhana – Surrendering to the Higher Self
And finally, let us learn to surrender in our practice and connect with the higher self.