Niyamas - 5 guidelines how to interact with the world as a modern yogi

Updated: Mar 18

Having talked about the Yamas in a previous blog, I outline briefly what the niyamas entail. The niyamas tell you how you can transform your life and others' lives by adhering to certain moralities.

2) Niyamas

2.1 Sauca – cleanliness, who does not like to enter a clean home? This cleanliness is not only in your home but also your workspace or in the yoga studio. Ensure you treat borrowed yoga equipment or other objects with care; make sure your body odour does not disturb others. Sauca furthermore gives you this aspiration to a purer diet, posture, exercise, and still the mind through meditation. You increase the circulation of blood and get rid of toxins in your body.

2.2 Santosha – be content with what you chose and find a place in which you feel happy. You have the choice to feel like you want to feel. Santosha means ‘contentment’ and ‘satisfaction’. When you do your best, be ‘content’ with the results.

2.3 Tapas – heat or intensity, perseverance, and the right effort for what you do, it is the burning desire to do your best, but without ‘himsa’ (violence) to yourself or others in body and mind. Ascetics used the original meaning of tapas to endure physical techniques to gain liberation of the body.

2.4 Svadhyaya – encourage to investigate and study, e.g., self-study and self-enquiry. A question here could be, is your self-investigation useful to others? Does it help others? Does it help you to be more content and feel relaxed about how life flows?

2.5 Isvarapranidhana – surrender and dedicate your efforts to a more significant cause, if you are religious, you may call it devotion to a god. If you are not religious, you could approach it as an approach to universal consciousness or universal love. It is the inner devotion, love, and expression to yourself and others on a subtler level. It is the realisation that there is a connection with everything.

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