The world we live in is a highly complex and challenging place. As humans we come up against contradictions and barriers every day. The daily delicate balancing act of work, children and life in general can take its toll on our true selves. We must bend and shape ourselves to fit the demands of what life throws at us. We are all on a quest to make our lives richer and more fulfilling but the push and pull of daily life can put a stop to this. We would all like an inner choice to guide us and help us realise our dreams and ambitions. Ultimately, we could all like to be master of our own destiny and putting in place clear and simple framework can make this desire a reality. This is where yoga and the Yamas and Niyamas can help.
Yoga is so much more than breathing and posing. It can become a way of life and crucial way to help us master the fine balancing act of life where you can choose yourself. The Yamas and Niyamas are the ethical disciplines that can lead to a well-rounded life.
The Yamas – Theses are the restraints that any person may abide by.
Ahimsa- non harming,
Satya – truthfulness,
Asteya – non stealing
Brahmacharya – remembering
Aparigraha – non excessiveness
The Niyama’s – These are the parts of yogic practice that should be seen as self-contemplation
Saucha– Purity, being clean
Tapas – sense of self – being restrained
Svadhyaya – Self Study
Ishvara Pranidhana – Not holding onto things.
Ahimsa – To cause no harm – Look at your space, does it contain peace, can you relate to the world with letting go of your negativity, letting there be a state of balance between you and others letting Karma in. Write down your negative thoughts and turn them into positive actions.
Satya – truthfulness – Don’t gossip, speak only of your higher self, stay grounded.
Asteya – -Don’t take things that are not on offer to you, don’t take another people loved one, do not cheat, keep things in check, respect others time, build on kindness.
Brahmacharya – leading to a peaceful life – don’t over indulge in stimulants, don’t push people into directions they don’t want to go in, open up channels, don’t use energy on stressful situations
Apagrigraha – Non grasping – don’t over accumulate goods. Think about the things that you actually need. Take charge of your material world. Do you really need this? be grateful for what you have.
Saucha- purity – Keep things clean – clean body, clean mind. Keep things in order. Stop striving for physical perfection. Don’t harm your body, keep it free from decay, exercise and cherish yourself.
Santosh – contentment – enjoy life’s moments, be present even when its tough. Don’t loose your perspective, look at the experience you will gain, increase your compassion for others.
Ishvara Pranidhana – dedication – Give your self up to life. Ask your inner self what would be wise words you could say to yourself. Look at your own wisdom, we all carry our own answers within ourselves, the trick is to harness them and trust our own instincts.
It is important to remember not to rush into or through the Yamas and Niyams. They are not a race or a to do list but rather a guide. Something that should be considered over a period of time so that natural joy and insight can arise from them in an organic and naturally evolving way. They should aloe you to find your own qualities and allow you to contemplate your own strength and to find your own weaknesses. The goal is self-realisation, freedom and in turn your highest aspirations.
If you would like an easy and sustainable way of improving your life, being a slightly better person, being present treating your time for the precious commodity it is. Taking courage in our own hands and providing a meaningful connection is no easy task, cutting though the noise and making your mission happen, live from the heart and be braver within our lives and work, make the choices that make us into whole hearted humans. Stay curious, keep asking questions, don’t be dictated by fear, value your courage. You are the person who can change the trajectory of your life!
Copyright Melanie Gordon 2019