Guide me Niyamas
The Niyamas are yoga practices that bring us in alignment with our highest selves.
They are guidelines, along with the Yamas on the Eight-Fold path of yoga, that show us the way to experience our humanity as spiritual beings.
If we “live” our yoga based on respecting these ethical and moral rules, our inner Universe is transformed as we develop awareness around how our lives are affected by the actions we choose. The Yamas are restraints, or simply habits that don’t serve us, and the Niyamas affect the relationship we have with ourselves at a core level and how we feel at the end of the day.
The Niyamas are described as follows: Sacha is purity; the act of cleansing our mind, our thoughts, and our bodies. Santosha is cultivating an attitude of contentment, or letting things be in the space of gratitude and acceptance. Tapas is the Niyama of transformation by applying “heat’ in the way self-discipline and strength of character. Svadhaya, self-study, is the journey of knowing ourselves and the invitation to let go of our “stories” that shadow truth. Ishvara Pranidhana is the opening of our heart with faith, surrendering to our Divine nature and flowing in the river of well-being.
Yoga brings us more awareness of not only what’s happening within our bodies, but also what’s happening with our thoughts. When I follow the guidelines of the Niyamas, and incorporate them into my daily life, I experience a constant peeling away of layers of illusion and delusion. Turbulence and drama lessen as I consciously choose how I act, and how I handle my fears, insecurities and anger.
Over time, gently and lovingly, the practice of the NIyamas evolves into mindful living, and really just living well!
By Julie Bertagna