This week we are looking at the second part of yoga’s ethical component, the Niyamas.
Niyamas are the five internal restraints or personal principles governing the cultivation of insight.
- Sauca: Purity/Cleanliness or also known as keeping our bodies and our surroundings clean and neat.
- Santosha: Contentment or also known as the ability to be comfortable with what we have and what we do not have
- Tapas: Self-discipline/patience or also known as the removal of impurities our physical and mental systems through the maintenance of such correct habits as sleep, exercise, nutrition, work, and relaxation
- Svadyaya: Self-study or contemplation or also known as study and the necessity to review and evaluate our progress
- Ishvara Pranidhana: Surrender to the Absolute or devotion, dedication to the ideal of pure awareness or also known as reverence to a higher intelligence or the acceptance of our limitations in relation to God, the all-knowing.
Practicing the 5 niyamas, alongside the 5 yamas, discussed last week, enables a person to move deeper into the stages of yoga with focus, inner strength and success. The practices of Niyama extend the ethical codes of conduct provided in his first limb, the yamas, to the practicing yogi’s internal environment of body, mind and spirit. The practice of Niyama helps us maintain a positive environment in which to grow, and gives us the self-discipline and inner-strength necessary to progress along the path of yoga.
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