The 5 Niyamas: Yoga rules for living

The 5 Niyamas: Yoga rules for living

I wanted to share with you the 2nd Limb of the 8 Limbs of Yoga; The 5 Niyamas are the yoga rules for living and how we treat ourselves.  In the Yoga Sutra, a collection of texts written between the second and fifth century, philosophers outline an 8 limbed path of purification of mind and body.  The 2nd limb on the eight limbed path are Niyamas. 

Yoga is rooted in deep wisdom, philosophy, and history.  It's important to remember why we practice it.  If you aren't studying, practicing, and/or teaching the philosophy of yoga then you are merely exercising or sitting in meditation, which is still beneficial.

The practice of yoga extends way outside of any yoga class or beyond a yoga mat.  The more you live your yoga practice and weave it into your everyday life the more authentically you are practicing yoga.  Yoga is a way of life similar to that of Buddhism or Taoism.

Last week I wrote about the; the 5 Yamas the yoga rules for living and how we treat others which include; compassion, truthfulness, non-stealing, turning the senses inward, non-grasping. 

It's important to understand the basics of yoga philosophy, so you can learn to weave the practice of living your yoga practice into your daily life.   Yoga is the path, life is the path.

9 Best Niyamas images | Yamas and niyamas, Yoga quotes, Eight ...

1. Saucha = Self Purification.  It includes many different techniques to cleansing the body as well as the mind.  The sages say that saucha is not only the foundation for health, is also the gateway to deeper states of meditation.  Choose your foods, emotions, and thoughts wisely as they enter into your body and mind.  Keep your environment clean.  

2.  Santosha = Contentment.  Contentment, happiness, and joy become available through an experience of acceptance.   You can more easily ride the ups and downs of life.  Let go of the past.  Lower your expectations.

3.  Tapas = Energy/Focus.  Tapas means heat literally.  Willingly and gladly focus your energy on a change of some kind; improved health, a new healthy habit, better focus/concentration, or a different direction in life.  Practice mopping the floor or doing the dishes with everything you've got; complete focus and enjoyment.

4.  Svadyaya = Self study.   Svadyaya means to remember, contemplate, or meditate on.  Determine where to focus your energy; tapas, and then study it with your whole being.   Apply svadyaya in your daily life by practicing the yama and niyamas, the asanas (postures), breath awareness, and meditation to recognize if you are in line with your life goals.

5.  Ishvara Pranidhana = Surrender to the spiritual and bliss.   Surrender to God in whatever sense that means to you.  Give yourself to a higher purpose.  Through self study we realize some things can't be changed and we surrender to that!  During meditation or savasana (the final relaxation pose) observe your thoughts and desires that distract your concentration, and come back to your presence in being. 

The Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, Patanjali Yoga Sutras By Felise ...

“The key to any lasting contentment is learning to see and accept reality for what it is and then acting skillfully, rather than reacting when reality fails to conform to our expectations.”

Check out Habit's schedule for yoga in Durango and nutrition in Durango at

The path to wellness is your choice.  Start a practice, create a habit.  


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