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The Niyamas

The Niyamas are the second of the eight limbs of yoga. Note that the Yamas and Niyamas (right living) come before asana in the eight fold path of yoga.

The Niyamas consist of five internnal practices that a yogi will strive to observe. We will go through these five practices just as we did with the Yamas over the next weeks but here is a brief overview of what they are:

1. Saucha - cleanliness/purity. Keeping clean interally and externally.

2. Santosa - contentment. What is true happinness? How to differentiate between temporary and lasting contentment in life.

3. Tapas - self discipline. Tapas literally means fire or to burn. It refers to an intense commitment to the discipline of yoga.

4. Svadhyaya - self study. Studying ourselves and practicing this inquiry through studying philosophy and spiritual texts.

5. Ishvara Pranidhana - devotion/surrender to God.

Practicing the Niyamas can help us to cultivate happiness in our lives and there are ample opportunities to practice these aspects of yoga in our everyday lives. The Niyamas, just like the Yamas are also a code of conduct to govern how we live our lives bt the Niyamas are more focused on how we behave towards ourselves. By practicing these qualities we are learning to refine our mind and become the person that we would wish to be.

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