Yamas and Niyamas

I've been checking out a lot of other yoga related blogs lately. Some of which I find myself going back to.  I haven't signed up to be a follower yet mostly because I can't figure out how to do it on most of the blogs I've been reading.  If anyone would like to help me figure it out - let me know.

Anyway,  one blog that I read yesterday was yogaspy I believe and Yogaspy posed an interesting question to yoga teachers.  He/she asked if you try to apply the Yamas and Niyamas into your life and which one or ones are most challenging to you.

As a refresher the yamas and niyamas are the first and second steps on Patanjali's noble 8 fold path.

The Yamas include:                                      The Niyamas include:

Ahimsa ~ Nonviolence                                     Saucha - Purity
Satya ~ Truthfulness                                         Santosha - Contentment
Asteya ~ Nonstealing                                       Tapas ~ Self-discipline
Brahmacharya - restraint of ones                      Svadhyaya ~ Self-study
vital energy                                                      Ishvara Pranidhana ~
Aparigraha ~ Nonpossessiveness                    surrender to God
So, what's your answer to yogaspy's question?  Do you try to live by these guidelines?  Do you really? Even when no-one is looking.  Which one or ones do you find most challenging?

Here's mine, I genuinely try to live by these guidelines - (I'm not always successful but I honestly try) - Practicing ahimsa towards myself is a huge challenge - I do a lot of negative self-talk.  Having discovered this tendency of mine has helped me "nip it in the bud" so to speak.  The other one I have trouble with is santosha- contentment.  I cannot feel contentment when I continually have such ridiculously high expectations.  Again, I am aware when I'm feeling dis-content and I practice svadhyaya and I look in the mirror to see if it's my expectations that are causing the problem. It usually is. 

When I let go of the expectations and accept things as they are it's easier to feel content.  That doesn't mean you lay down and play dead.  Not at all.  Remember that little prayer about having courage to change the things you can, accepting the things you can't?  It's about being content with the things we cannot change.  You know, like that need you have to change other people.  The desire you have for people to be anything different than who they are? Yeah....... Practicing santosha in those circumstances. 

So there you have it.  Okay now people,  I am expecting to see some comments here.  Don't disappointment me.  LOL!  JK - just kidding.  If you feel so inclined your comments are appreciated.

Om Namah Shivaya!


  1. yamas and niyamas: never been a big fan. I think it's like the 10 commandments, a guilt-producer, it's always past thinking involved in this. At the moment of truth, you do what you are going to do. You don't stop and think, 'Hmm, is this the correct yogic decision or is this the correct yogic thing I am about to say.' No, you just do it, then your mind reflects back and makes a judgment, usually it's condemning, rarely is it loving and understanding. I think your karma determines your adherence to these principles and that's it. I understand them and I think they are correct, but to posit them as governing principles for one's behavior is crap. My opinion. All comments welcome.

  2. Interesting point. Imagine for a moment that when "the moment of truth" is in front of you you stop and consider the Yamas & Niyamas and you make your decision based on them. When your mind reflects back what would your judgement look like? Having these guidelines helps me to live more consciously. When we're not living consciously we are being tossed around by our ego and our senses. I don't know about you but when I let my ego or my senses take the lead - it's never a good choice.
    And Yes, ALL comments are welcome.

  3. Hmmm, such a great post... I find myself nodding yes internally, such glimpse of recognition. I believe we must start thinking of your post before every comment we make in every blog, before every word we say, before every move we make. Making yoga our way of life is really important. thanks for the post!

  4. practicing santosha meaning being 'content' IN the present m0Ment,,N0T in the fantasy of the future 0R the reverie of the past


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