The Niyamas of yoga is your guide to living better. Fortunately for you, the 5 Niyamas in yoga philosophy will help you do the necessary to get closer to the ultimate goal of yoga.
Niyamas are action; they are the follow-up to the Yamas. While Yamas speak about how not to be, Niyamas concentrate more on how to be and what to do.
And if you are wondering what the guidelines of Niyamas are, all you must do is scroll down. You will find your answers.
Niyama is a duty. Tasks and habits that will help you live well and healthy. Niyamas are habits that you need to inculcate in your behavior to become self-realized and live consciously.
Niyama comes second in the Ashtanga-The Eight Fold Path of Patanjali mentioned in the Yoga Sutras to reach the path of enlightenment.
Niyama is an ethical code of yoga that you need to imbibe in mind, body, and spirit to cleanse your being internally and train it to be positive.
Niyama is an exceptional manner to train in discipline, clarity and inner strength that is highly necessary to go forward in the spiritual journey of the eightfold path.
Other than the Yoga Sutras, Niyama is also mentioned in the Upanishads and Hatha yoga Pradipika.
Let’s find out what the 5 Niyamas entail.
Shaucha is purification. Impurity in mind and surroundings is detrimental to development in the spiritual path. It obscures your path to wisdom.
You need to try techniques like asana, pranayama, and meditation to keep yourself clean and pure in body and mind. It is a strengthening process that makes you more receptive to good.
Also, it is of utmost importance to keep your surroundings positive be it the food you eat, the drinks you take, the people you spend time with and the aesthetics and cleanliness of the space you live in.
Apart from the external work you do on your body and mind, it is crucial for you to take care of what you put inside your body too. Make sure you get enough protein, vegetables, fruits. Drink ample amounts of water.
Avoid drugs, alcohol, sugar, smoking, and fat. I know it is tough, but you need to do it. It is part of the cleanliness process of the yogic path.
Samtosha is contentment. It is an attribute that makes you happy with what you have and not crave for something that does not belong to you.
You experience absolute joy when you become content with what life offers you. It is not objects or possessions that give happiness, even if they do, it is temporary.
Samtosha helps you get over the nagging in your head to want more and different things. It saves you from unnecessarily suffering and feel gratitude towards what you have got.
Begin with being content with the present. Then, bit by bit, it’ll take over leaving you grateful for all that you have. It’ll make you positive and appreciate life better.
Tapas is austerity. It is disciplining yourself and developing a willpower that will help you do the necessary to bring positivity in your life even when you do not want to do it.
Tapas burns your mind’s desires of impurity and transforms you into a better being. It helps you to subdue evil impulses and behavior consciously.
Tapas is a stepping stone towards becoming more dedicated and consistent with your yoga practice. Tapas is all about bettering and motivating yourself. It is a constant reminder of your goal and pushes you towards it.
Tapas eliminates all the negativity in you by cutting off all that is unnecessary and keeping you off from what you need to be like laziness, procrastination, distraction, and unpunctuality.
Svadhyaya is self-study. It helps you realize what you truly are. It mirrors your flaws and weaknesses and helps you fix them and then move past them.
Critically examining your deeds is a fine way to understand the way you think, your desires, thoughts, and motives. When you do that, you realize the faults clearly and can address them in a balanced manner.
Studying spiritual texts will guide you to know your true self. Knowing yourself is more than observing and analyzing yourself in the present moment.
You need to even think about your past which led to your behavior in the present and then design the way you need to behave in the future to become a better version of your present self.
Knowing yourself is the best wisdom you can possess. Then you know for sure what needs to be done and fixed to become better and move forward.
Also, Tapas helps you recognize and acknowledge the wrong side of you which you usually tend to ignore. When you know where you are going wrong and become willing to accept and correct it, you heal and become a better version of yourself.
Ishvara Pranidhana is dedication. It is surrendering to a thought that all you do is for a greater purpose and not something that you do just for yourself.
It is becoming dedicated to a higher concept than just being obsessed with yourself and work towards it instead of thinking what’s in it for you.
Ishvara Pranidhana helps you to let go of your ego and with that goes the constant buzz in your head as to how everything you do can benefit you. You must consider all the benefits that occur from the work you do as tools to further the purpose of something life-changing and impactful.
Dedication keeps you connected to a higher cause which keeps you grounded and humble. You become more loving, peaceful and graceful when you let go of selfishness and think about the greater good.
All you need to do is break the flow of only thinking about yourself and look around. Feel the universe and all that is part of it. Open up, embrace, connect and love.
Now, let’s answer some common queries on Niyama.
Are the concepts of Niyama religious?
Not at all, Niyama is a purely spiritual process.
Do I need to give up everything in the process of Niyama?
No. Niyama helps you detach and not identify yourself with the things you possess.
When you decide to do something good, you need to do it the right way. You need to train and become the best you can be so even the process of it becomes ethical and meaningful. Niyama is perfect training to help you evolve into an enlightened individual. Begin now for a better you.