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We saw the first limb of Ashtanga Yoga, i.e Yamas-the principles in our previous article “Lifestyle management through Raja Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga, part 1.”
With the Yamas being in place a Sadhak or a disciple moves forward to the next limb of Ashtanga yoga–Niyamas.
Sage Patanjali states Niyamas as,
The constituents of Niyamas are:
- Shauch-Purity: Shauch is basically personal hygiene and Purity of thoughts! So deeply propagated by Sage Patanjali, where-in he talks about being pure and clean inside out.
To follow Shauch:
- a) Empty your bowels timely, ideally first thing in the morning.
- b) Taka a bath every day to cleanse your skin.
- c) Do Yogasanas & Pranayama every day for cleansing toxins within the body systems.
- d) Cleanse your thoughts with good knowledge.
- e) Cleanse your heart and emotions compassion, love, care & forgiveness.
- f) Cleanse your soul by attitude of gratitude and prayers.
- Santosha-Contentment: As its rightly said, happiness lies within you. Santosha means the core happiness lying within us naturally, which we have to maintain undisturbed by external situations and other people’s actions. Meditation helps to get this state of steadfast happiness. As the clear reflection of moon can be seen only in steady water, similarly strongest clarity of thoughts for the right action can be gained by steadily happy heart.
- Tapa-Penance: Tapa signifies dedicated and devoted efforts towards our goals. As Swami Vivekananda said, “Take one thought and make it your life, breathe for it, eat for it & live for it. It is this level of dedication that adds ‘Extra’ to the ‘Ordinary’ person.” Being a Tapasvi is being able to rise above the situations, go beyond the excuses, being able to resist from distractions and remain strong on the path of achieving desired goal.
- Swadhyaya-Self study: Swadhyaya is constantly revising the knowledge and upgrading skill sets. It is consistently updating yourself with practical, professional and spiritual knowledge. Real Swadhyaya happens when revising, upgrading and updating is a self-motivated action.
- Ishwar Pranidhana-Worship of God: Ishwar Pranidhana is the act of surrendering your actions to God. This helps a person stay away from Abhnivesha, the fear of losing possessions and attachments. Also, it helps a person to feel secure with a feeling of a divine force protecting & guiding us, enabling our strength within. However, it doesn’t only mean sitting in front of God, but has a deeper meaning telling humans to be in resonance with the cosmic energies.
For any queries or help on the same, reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message here PRAVAAH.