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Niyamas, The Second Limb


Gaze inward to niyamas, the interaction with yourself. One’s thoughts, feelings, and vibrations all lend to how our inner world translates into our outer world experience.

Define it

The 5 Niyamas are the personal attitude we adopt towards ourselves so that we may live more soulfully. They are habits that bring control to our inner world.

What does it mean to you?

The Niyamas are commitments to ones’ self – behaviors we practice in an attempt to cultivate greater self-love and kindness, which will inevitably spill over to those around us.

How can you apply it to your daily life?

1. Sauca– Purity, both inside and out. It means we keep our bodies clean, we practice asana and pranayama to clean the insides of our bodies, and we practice meditation to cleanse the mind of its disturbing emotions like hate, greed, delusion, and pride. It’s the commitment to cleansing our bodies with pranayama and asana and our minds with meditation. It can also be thought as a process of removing tension.

2. Santosha – Contentment – an inner state of acceptance. Simply being happy with what we do have and accepting of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Being happy in Eka Pada Kapotanasana instead of yearning to be in Kapotanasana.

3. Tapas – Disciplined use of our energy. Taking action, both towards positive growth and away from destructive habits. Disciplined such that strides should be taken at an appropriate speed – remembering that powerful change can be attained at a gentle pace.

4. Svadhyaya – Self-study, cultivating self-reflective consciousness so that we can truly see who we are – both shadow and light.

5. Ishvara pranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual, laying all our actions at the feet of God. Surrendering to Divine Will.

What are some benefits of applying it to your daily life?

Turning ones’ attention inward and gaining control of ones’ inner world is of great benefit. True growth cannot occur when inner conflict remains unresolved. Together, the Yamas and Niyamas are a practical way to live life so we can access inner peace, bliss, and love in our day-to-day lives.


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