Niyamas are moral and ethical directives - a to do list that is necessary for a healthy mind and body. These directives serve the purpose of creating an atmosphere or foundation whereby one has a still mind, free from anxiety. These behaviors support further development on ones path to liberation through purity of body, thoughts, and words.
The 5 Niyamas
- Saucha = Cleanliness & purity of the body, mind, and intellect. Bathing purifies the external body. Asanas, pranayama and right food purifies the inner body. Cleansing of the mind from disturbing emotions such as lust, greed, hate, etc. Cleansing of the intellect from impure thoughts and impressions.
- Santosha = Contentment and tranquility. You are exactly where you should be in this moment.
- Tapas = Self Discipline, purity and austerity. There are three types of tapas. Body (kayika) Speech (vachika) and Mind (manasika)
- Svadhyaya = Study of sacred texts / self study. One studies sacred texts to bring knowledge to the study of ones self. This allows for better solutions to difficult situations and an ability to better understand ones self and ones purpose in life.
- Isvara Pranidhana = Surrender to your higher power - Illumination (tejas). With adoration of something greater than yourself and surrender to that power the ego dissolves. This leads to the eradication of suffering.
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