For the last couple of months we’ve been working with the Niyamas. Last week I defined Niyama as the collective practice of Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, and Ishvara Pranidhana. This week we’ll bring Niyama back into the context of the other limbs of yoga practice that we have already discussed over the past year or so. Here is the review list:
Yama: The collective practice of Nonviolence, Honesty, Acceptance of What You Already Have (or not covetting what you don’t), Mindful Use of Energy (your own life energy, but feel free to conserve electricity as well), and Non-attachement.
Niyama: The collective practice of Clarity (or cleanliness), Contentment (reflexive of Asteya in the Yamas), Commitment and Dedication, Self Study (inquiry, exploration), Complete Surrender (giving yourself and your actions fully)
Asana: The Mindful Action of Your Body; Includes Yoga Postures
Pranayama: Mindful Breath; Intentional Breath; Focused Breath
Pratyahara: Turn Your External Senses Inward
Dharana: Concentrate; Focus Your Mind
Dhyana: Meditate; Be Present; Be As You Are
Some students of yoga will note the abscence of the 8th limb of Ashtanga. You may already be practicing it, but we’ll be addressing it directly in the weeks to come.