The Yamas and Niyamas

Hi everyone! I really want to take the opportunity this week to just chat a little bit about a book that was recommended from my own yoga instructor. It has genuinely helped me through practicing yoga, and improving my mindset as a whole. The book is titled, “The Yamas and Niyamas”, written by Deborah Adele.

The overall book discusses ways to explore the ethical practice of yoga. Why is this important you may ask? Well correct me if I’m wrong, but we all want to live a well led life. It is important to look back and really reflect on how well we are participating in our own lives. It’s no secret that being a human being is really hard sometimes (a lot of the times even). Life is messy and confusing, and through all of this we really need to remember to try and focus on our own personal needs.

It is important to know that yoga is not just postures; but literally a way of living and learning to be self aware with your thoughts and your mind. This is where the Yamas and Niyamas come in. They are defined by Adele as, “A detailed map, telling you where you where you are and how to look for the next landmark. They facilitate taking ownership of your life and directing it towards the fulfillment you seek”.

The Yamas, are the first five and include:

  • Nonviolence
  • Truthfulness
  • Nonstealing
  • Nonexcess
  • Nonpossessiveness

Niyamas, the last five, include:

  • Purity
  • Contentment
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-Study
  • Surrender

Deborah Adele really does a great job at mapping these out throughout her book, and shows us how we can develop more of a commitment to bettering ourselves. Personally I rely on this book for so many things. I have read and highlighted it so many times because I feel like I take away something new and reflect differently every time. What I have taken away from this book is that these are huge components that give us power as our own individual to live a confident and joyful life.

I hope this encourages you to look into the Yamas and Niyamas, or at least is a start for you to practice being kinder to yourself! Don’t forget you are wonderful as you are!

2 thoughts on “The Yamas and Niyamas”

  1. Thank you so much for this post! It was a good reminder that we’re not alone – life can knock everyone down sometimes. But it’s encouraging to know that there are many ways to wire our mindset to see the positive things in life. I’ve never heard of the Yamas and Niyamas before reading your blog post, but it’s definitely something I’ll keep in mind. The ones that stood out to me the most were the “Aparigraha” or the non-possessiveness. Nothing in life is permanent, so it is important to create your own happiness independent from possessions. The other one that stood out was the “Santosha” or the contentment. I definite agree that having personal peace can be so freeing.

  2. I loved the post Gabi! I recently got back into yoga for a class this semester and Yoga has been there for me in hard times. I started practicing in high school and the mindset of yoga sticks to you for a long time. It’s amazing how something that people think of just as exercise means so much more for the mind and soul. I want to check out the book you recommended, I feel like lessons and mindsets are so valuable. Keep it up!

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