There is no yogi in the world who has not heard of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. These are the foundational texts containing deep knowledge about yogic philosophy and tradition. The text has been a source of inspiration for yogis around the world for many years.
Yoga Sutras contain a total of 8 steps, each of which helps you attain the goal of self-realization and enlightenment. One specific part of this ancient yogic text is known as Niyamas.
The Niyamas are inner-observances that help you progress on the path of yoga. You can enrol in a certified YTT 200 in Rishikesh to learn all the aspects of yoga.
Now, a common question that comes to the mind of every yoga practitioner is-
Why Should I Practice Niyamas During Yoga?
Niyamas offer you a new perspective on and off the yoga mat. These provide inspiration to yoga practitioners and teachers around the world. If you want to learn yoga beyond its physical aspects then knowing the yoga Niyamas would be a good decision.
That said, let us check out how you can make yoga Niyamas a part of daily yoga practice.
The 5 Yoga Niyamas
Given below are the five yoga Niyamas which will help you dive deeper into the art of yoga.
The first Niyama, Saucha refers to purity or cleanliness. It is concerned with having a clean mind and body. Having a clean external environment and personal purification keeps your mind focused on the yoga practice. Remember, a scattered mind is a major hurdle for every asana and meditation practice.
Practising Saucha helps you develop the understanding that mind and body influence each other, both on and off the mat. Saucha helps you experience yoga asanas the way they should be, steady and comfortable. Moreover, this Niyama initiates a process of mental purification to gain mastery over the senses.
One way you can ask the yoga students to bring Saucha into yoga practice is by asking them to clean the yoga mat after every session. You can also encourage them to choose a healthy diet and take note of their thoughts and feelings.
The second Niyama, Santosha is related to contentment. Yoga Sutras state that if you develop an attitude of contentment then mental comfort and joy are easy to obtain. In other words, happiness is an inside job and your choice.
Coming to the yoga mat, you can follow this Niyama by accepting your body as it is in the present moment. It helps you to move from one yoga asana to the next without any hassle. Always be grateful for the time and opportunity you spend in yoga practice. Enrol in a certified yoga for beginners session to understand more about this Niyama of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
The word Tapas means heat. It is the third Niyama in Yoga Sutras and refers to the heat which builds as a result of self-discipline and efforts during a yoga session. The Niyama of Tapas is concerned with focusing your energy and acting with full strength and determination. As per Sage Patanjali, this Niyama helps you gain mastery over the body, senses, and actions.
If you want to introduce this aspect of yoga to the students, help them give their best in every yoga session. You can include Kapalbhati or Bhastrika Pranayama which help tone your abdominal muscles and generate inner heat. Remind the students of their inner will and strength to help them move ahead in yoga practice.
The fourth Niyama, Svadhyaya refers to contemplation or self-study. It is all about self-study and self-reflection and helps you know your true nature. Sage Patanjali claims that when you are lost in Svadhaya, it helps you contact the underlying nature of reality.
To practice the concept of Svadhyaya, you can ask the students to pay attention to how different parts of their body feel at the beginning and end of a yoga practice. Also, you can tell them to pay attention to their breathing and how it manifests during the yoga practice. Enrol in the certified YTT 200 in Rishikesh to know everything about this Niyama of yoga.
5. Ishvara Pranidhana
The fifth and last Niyama is Ishvara Pranidhana which talks about surrendering to God or a higher power. It is concerned with spiritual practice and giving yourself up for a greater purpose. However, it is the hardest Niyamas of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras but can be learnt under the tutelage of a skilled and experienced yoga teacher.
During the yoga class, you can ask the students to observe the thoughts which arise during a meditation session or when they are holding onto a yoga asana. At one point, their attention would rest on a higher power.
Do you want to learn yoga beyond its physical aspects? You should enrol in the certified YTT 200 in Rishikesh to learn about the five Niyamas of the yoga tradition.