Introduction to the Niyama

004Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga

Over the past five weeks, we’ve started a trip through the eight limbs of yoga. As a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going, in his Yoga Sutras the sage Patanjali detailed the eight limbs of yoga.

  1. Yama: ethical restraints for social harmony
  2. Niyama: personal standards
    • Sauca: purity
    • Santosha: contentment
    • Tapas: self-discipline
    • Svadhyaya: self-study
    • Isvara Pranidhana: union with the Divine
  3. Asana: physical practice
  4. Pranayama: regulation of life force
  5. Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses
  6. Dharana: single-pointed concentration
  7. Dhyana: meditation
  8. Samadhi: enlightenment

The Niyama

With the niyama, we begin to turn to shine the spotlight inward and take a look at our more personal standards. The niyama are our individual behaviors, our code for living soulfully. Like the yama, the niyama are broken down into five principles as outlined above. Stay tune for a closer look at the first of these, sauca, later this week.




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