Single Tips To Follow Yama And Niyama| Guide On Two Limbs Of Ashtanga Yoga

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Do you wish to follow the entirety of ashtanga yoga with complete devotion but get overwhelmed? In this post, I am talking about the two limbs of yoga known as Yama and Niyama. To make the process simpler, I will give you  a single tip to follow each yama and niyama from the eight limbs of yoga.

Single tips to follow Yama and a niyama of yoga- eight limbed yoga of Patanjali

Inroduction To Yama And Niyama In Yoga

 

Being a yoga teacher, I love to talk… everyone I meet is… about the yoga. But most of them intrrupt me to inform that THEY KNOW YOGA! I also embrace complete silence because I almost know what they KNOW IN YOGA.

For sure, they are well familiar with the Asanas, or may be…  with the yogic breathwork which we know as Pranayama.

But what most of yoga lovers aren’t aware that these are just TWO OF THE SLICES FROM THE BIG PIE ASHTANGA YOGA also known as eight limbed yoga. While asanas and pranayama are the most talked about limbs and physically doable acts, other limbs remain allienated because people consider them  more of being the concepts rather than being an act. And sometimes also as the things which others should bother about. However, If you commit to follow the one single tip given here for each of the yama and niyama, you will find the “right path really fast” to make yourself YAMA AND NIYAMA COMPATIBLE.

Yama and Niyama are two of the eight limbs of yoga, forming the foundation of the yogic path. Yama refers to moral disciplines and Niyama refers to personal observances. Together, they provide a framework for living an ethical and meaningful life. Yama and Niyama are considered essential for a yogi’s spiritual growth and self-development. They are the basis for cultivating a harmonious relationship with the world and with oneself. By living in accordance with these principles, one can experience greater peace and joy in their life.

Understanding Yama and Niyama in Yoga: A Guide On Two Of The Limbs Of Yoga 

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Single tips to follow Yama and a niyama of yoga- eight limbed yoga of Patanjali

Yama refers to the five restraints or abstentions

These are Ahimsa (non-harming), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy or right use of energy), and Aparigraha (non-coveting). Yama is the practice of self-restraint and is the first step in developing a yogic lifestyle. It is important to note that these five restraints are not just moral codes, but rather, they are guidelines for how to interact with the world around us.

Niyama refers to the five observances or commitments

These are Saucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (self-discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study), and Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to the divine). Niyama is the practice of self-discipline and is the second step in developing a yogic lifestyle. It is important to note that these five observances are not just moral codes, but rather, they are guidelines for a more sattvic way of living.

The Five Yama Principles of Yoga

The Five Yama Principles of Yoga are a set of moral codes that are the foundation of the yogic lifestyle. They are the first of the eight limbs of yoga, as outlined in the ancient text, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The five yama principles are meant to be practiced daily in order to live a life of balance and harmony.

The first Yama principle is ahimsa

which is the practice of non-violence and compassion. This means that we should strive to show kindness and respect to all living beings, including ourselves. We should avoid causing harm to others, both physically and emotionally.

Single tip to follow Ahimsa

Be kind to yourself

The second Yama principle is Satya

which is the practice of truthfulness. This means we should strive to be honest in our words and actions. We should be mindful of our thoughts and how they affect our behavior. We should also be mindful of our intentions and how they affect our decisions.

Single tip to follow Satya

Set your intention for the day

The third Yama principle is Asteya

Which is the practice of non-stealing. This means that we should not take what is not ours, including material possessions, ideas, and energy. We should also strive to be content with what we have and not be driven by greed.

Single tip to follow Asteya

Care for other people’s time

The fourth Yama principle is brahmacharya

Which is the practice of moderation. This means that we should strive to maintain balance in all areas of our lives. We should not become too attached to material possessions.

One tip to follow brahmacharya

Practice silence each day

The Fifth Yama Is Aparigraha

Aparigraha means ‘non-greed’, ‘non-possessiveness’, and ‘non-attachment’. This important Yama teaches us to take only what we need, keep only what serves us in the moment and to let go when the time is right. You learn about the Aparigraha in detail here.

One tip to follow Aparigraha

Donate on regular basis

 The Five Niyama Principles of Yoga

As an integral part of the eight-limbed path of yoga, these five principles are essential guidelines for living a life of health, harmony, and contentment.

The First Niyama Is Saucha (Cleanliness)

Saucha is the practice of cleanliness, both physical and mental. Physically, this means maintaining a clean body and environment. Mentally, it means purifying the mind of negative thoughts and cultivating a positive attitude.

One tip to follow Saucha

Take shower and meditate everyday

The Second Niyama Is Santosha (Contentment):

Santosha is the practice of contentment and gratitude. It involves being satisfied with what we have and being thankful for it. It also consists in accepting ourselves and our circumstances and not allowing ourselves to be controlled by external influences.

One tip to follow Santosha

Start counting your blessings

 The Third Niyama Is Tapas (Self-Discipline)

Tapas is the practice of self-discipline and self-control. It involves setting goals and working towards them with dedication and perseverance. It also involves controlling our desires and impulses and cultivating a sense of inner strength and stability.

One tip to follow Tapas

Commit to doing what you promised to yourself

The Fourth Niyama Is Svadhyaya (Self-Study)

Svadhyaya is the practice of self-study and introspection. It involves taking time to reflect on our thoughts and actions and to gain insight into our true nature.

One Tip To Follow Swadhyaya

Instead of sedarching out, search inward

The Fifth Niyama Is Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender to a Higher Power)

 Ishvara pranidhana is the spiritual act of surrendering the self fully to the Divine, and trusting the wisdom of the Divine to guide the life. 

One Tip To Follow Ishwara Paridhana

Rest your logical mind by surrendering your ego completely

How Yama and Niyama Enhance Your Yoga Practice

Yama and Niyama are the foundation of successful yoga practice, as they provide the framework for a yogi to live a life of self-discipline, self-awareness, and self-love. These are the certain aspects of sustained and meaningful yoga practice on and off your yoga mat.

  • When you are self disciplined, you take out time for your self care and you devote sometime of your day in practicing asanas and pranayama.
  • When you are self aware, you know what to eat, when to eat, how to behave.
  • When you love yourself, you treat everyone with kindness and great care.

 

Wrapping Up- Yama And Niyama- Essentials Of Yoga

Yama and Niyama, the foundational principles of yoga help us to create a balanced and harmonious life. They are the moral and ethical guidelines that help to guide yogis on their journey of self-discovery. Yama focuses on how we interact with the external world, while Niyama focuses on how we interact with ourselves. By following these principles, yogis can experience a greater sense of peace and well-being. With the regular practice of yoga, these principles can help to bring balance and harmony to our lives.They are the foundation of yoga practice and help to cultivate a healthy and meaningful life. Together, they provide guidance for living a life of harmony and balance.


Image Credit

Image by Yanalaya on Freepik

 

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2 Comments

  • Sylvia

    Thank you for this simple yet self-explanatory way of thinking on the Yamas and Niyamas! As a student on her path (I am 55 years young!) to learning more about these and other philosophies of Yoga, this article really is helpful for many as myself who finds it at times overwhelming to understand! Namaste!

    • Thanks Sylvia for your kind words, happy to learn that you found the article to be useful 🙏

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About Author

Rashmi is a certified Yoga Teacher, Reiki Healer, Advanced Chakra Healer, Spiritual and PLRT Therapist, Yin Yoga And Pilates Instructor from India.

For result oriented health and nutrition coaching through Yoga and Reiki Healing in combination with other healing modalities, please check out Yogarsutra Healing Studio.

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