This week in our yoga classes at The Yoga Room we focused on the Niyamas, the second limb of yoga. The Niyamas have to do with the attitude we adopt toward ourself, our sense of self-discipline and spiritual observances.
The five niyamas are:
Saucha: cleanliness of body, mind, words, thoughts and actions. To put this into action in our yoga practice, we can be mindful of how we place our shoes when we enter the yoga studio, where we put our mat in relation to the other students around us, and where we put the other items we bring into the studio so that they are not in the way of the teacher as she walks around the room.
Samtosa: contentment and acceptance of what you have and who you are. To best practice this on our yoga mat, we must stay present, just being the observer, and accept our body and whatever it can do for us on any given day.
Tapas: heat; discipline, effort, challenge or sometimes even hardship that we go through for the sake of change, growth or to move forward, both on our yoga mat and off.
Svadhyaya: the study of one’s self. This might mean doing things like taking more time to be contemplative or reading spiritual or personal growth books. On our mat we set an intention, really thinking about why we are coming to our practice and what we hope to get from it. And then we cultivate a strong inward focus and see what we can learn about ourselves during our practice.
Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God, a higher power, the Universe. This is about letting go of a false sense of control. When you know you have done your best, you can let go of the outcome. On our yoga mat we remind ourselves that it’s our intention and effort that count, not the results.
I encourage you all to now take these niyamas and practice them off the mat as well!