Yoga Philosophy: Niyamas

We’ve been through the Yamas, now it’s time we turn our attention to the Niyamas. These are the 2nd limb described in Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga.

The Niyamas can be thought of as inner observances which can be used to help us to build discipline and character. In his book ‘Light on Yoga’, Iyengar calls these rules of conduct that apply to an individual, as opposed to the Yamas which are ethical disciplines and rules for the morality of a society as a whole. You can, of course, take the word ‘rules’ with a grain of salt.

The 5 Niyamas are:

Saucha (purity/cleanliness)
Santosha (contentment)
Tapas (discipline)
Svadhyaya (self-study)
Isvara Pranidhana (surrender to a higher power)

If you want to learn more about these Niyamas, we have more info on its way in future posts. Stay tuned!

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Yoga Philosophy: Aparigraha

learn about yoga Dec 29, 2020
The last in our series discussing the Yamas (the first of the 8 limbs of yoga), we’re having a look at the concept of Aparigraha.
 
This Yama is generally translated as ‘non-greed’ or ‘non-attachment’. The lesson associated with Aparigraha is pretty simple. It doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t want nice stuff. The moral guideline this is asking us to remember is that we should only take what we need and what serves us in the moment and to know when to let go.
 
This honestly makes me think of Australia’s great toilet paper fiasco.
 
Anyway.
 
Knowing what we need in any given moment means that we need to be mindful of both ourselves & others. We need to be able to be discerning and aware enough to be able to make decisions that serve us. This can be seen both on and off the yoga mat.
 
When we begin our yoga practice, are we attached (and do we have expectation) around where the...
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Yoga Philosophy: Brahmacharya

learn about yoga Dec 29, 2020
The fourth of our Yamas, Brahmacharya is easily one of the most difficult to understand and it can definitely be a little misunderstood in today's world.
 
Often translated as 'celibacy', it's easy to see why it's not a super popular concept. But really, when we think about Brahmacharya and how it relates to us in our everyday lives we are thinking about a 'right use of energy' and using our energy in a way that leads to the Divine.
 
Now, 'the Divine' can mean whatever you want it to mean, but in this case (in yogic philosophy) the Divine is thought of as Brahman, the creator. You might think of this as God, or the Universe or something else entirely different.
 
A good way to think about using this Yama off the yoga mat is asking yourself if you're using your energy in a way that is leading you towards connection, the good of mankind, and universal flow. Do you have enough energy to get where you're going, or are you expending it on things that maybe...
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Yoga Philosophy: Asteya

learn about yoga Dec 29, 2020
This Yama means more than just what we might initially think of as relating to 'stealing'.
 
Asteya is something that can be practiced in every minute of every day of our lives. Are we stealing from ourselves with our habits, our distractions, our focus? Are we stealing time & peace from ourselves and others by often being late? Are we stealing space from ourselves by trying to fill some perceived gap in our lives with more and more stuff?
 
Patanjali says 'To one established in non-stealing, all wealth comes'.
 
This could be taken to mean that when we allow what is meant for us to simply come to us then we find we will live a richer life, rather than constantly going after things that are stealing away our time, energy, focus & peace.
 
Perhaps in this way Asteya is about being more mindful of what we already have in our lives and questioning the idea of needing or coveting more. Of course it doesn't mean that we don't have goals or...
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Yoga Philosophy: Satya

learn about yoga Dec 29, 2020
In his book 'Light on Yoga', B.K.S. Iyengar says that 'truth is the highest rule of conduct or morality'.
 
Satya (truth) is the second of the Yamas (ethical disciplines) and Iyengar goes on to say that 'if the whole life is based on truth, then one becomes fit for union with the Infinite'.
 
Ok, so what does that mean?
 
Living in truth closely resembles the idea of living a life of flow. It's not about being brutally honest in our lives to the detriment of others. It comes down to being aligned in the life you are living. Speaking, thinking and acting with integrity and in alignment for the Universal good.
 
This doesn't necessarily mean that we forsake our needs for the greater good, but it means that when are living in flow with the one collective of life, love and truth, we will find that we automatically attain the things we desire, the things we need and we find that ourselves and others respect our words, actions and boundaries.
...
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Yoga Philosophy: Ahimsa

learn about yoga Dec 29, 2020
In this week's look at yoga philosophy we are going to talk about the first of our Yamas: Ahimsa
 
Ahimsa can be translated to mean 'non-violence' or non-harming', and as Patanjali eloquently puts it, 'in the presence of one firmly established in non-violence, all hostilities cease'. Well, that sounds pretty darn great, doesn't it?!
 
In his book 'Light on Yoga', B.K.S. Iyengar says that Ahimsa 'has a wider positive meaning, love'. So, rather than thinking of Ahimsa in a supremely literal sense of not killing or not being violent, we can apply this concept to our everyday lives by showing more compassion and by embracing ALL of creation because we KNOW that all of creation makes up the one-ness of the entire Universe. This includes ourselves.
 
Ahimsa is not an external action that is only to be directed at other beings. It also needs to be internal. We need to practice showing ourselves compassion, kindness and love, because to do otherwise separates...
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Yoga Philosophy: Yamas

learn about yoga Dec 29, 2020
Let's look at the first limb of yoga: Yamas.
 
The Yamas can be thought of as 'moral restraints' and contains 5 practices known as:
 
Ahimsa (non-violence/harming)
Satya (truthfulness)
Asteya (non-stealing)
Brahmacharya (continence/right use of energy)
Aparigraha (non-coveting/greed)
 
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, it is said that 'these great vows are universal, not limited by class, place, time, or circumstances'.
 
Observing the Yamas is not something we only do on our yoga mat. These practices were meant to be observed in our everyday lives and our on-the-mat yoga practice can help us to be more mindful in order to do this.
 
We'll be going into each of these Yamas in more detail in future posts. Stay tuned for the next yoga philosophy post where we'll have a deeper look at the first Yama: Ahimsa.
 
Also, tell us: what do you most want to know?
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The Eight Limbs of Yoga

learn about yoga Dec 29, 2020
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there is defined the eight limbs of yoga.
 
It is said that 'by the practice of the limbs of Yoga, the impurities dwindle away and there dawns the light of wisdom, leading to discriminative discernment'.
 
As we know, yoga is not just the poses we practice on the mat, it's also meditation, breathwork and the way we live our life.
 
These are the eight limbs of yoga:
 
Yama (abstinence)
Niyama (observance)
Asana (posture practice)
Pranayama (breath control)
Dharana (concentration)
Dhyana (meditation)
Samadhi (absorption)
 
There's a lot of big words there, so we're going to leave it at that for this post. But keep your eyes on our feed as over the coming weeks we go deeper into what each of these eight limbs consist of
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I Think My Chakras are Blocked... 4 Easy Ways to Fix It.

Ever been to a psychic or an energy healer, have them tell you, ‘hmmmm, this chakra is blocked,’ or ‘once your ____ chakra is activated life will change’. Walk away going, ‘great, what do I do with that?’
 
You can go see someone about it, or you can totally realign, unblock and activate your chakras yourself.
 
If you have never heard of a Chakra before, it is a focus point of energy in your body. There are believed to be 7 main chakras along your midline and HUNDREDS of smaller chakras throughout your body.
 
Each of these 7 main chakras are connected to colours, organs, aspects of life; so if one is ‘blocked’ it may have a direct effect on the corresponding organ or thought pattern.
 
So let’s get to HOW you can unblock them:
 
1: Visualisation - imagine the chakra, see its colour and what it feels like, then start to imagine it being switched on like a light bulb. The brighter...
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What Is Yin Yoga?

learn about yoga Sep 04, 2020
When many people hear the words Yin Yoga, they often wonder what on earth it is. We totally understand, so we’re demystifying it for you!
 
Now, you may hear the words ‘it’s just stretching’, and that’s half true, but yin yoga is so much more than stretching our body. In fact, in order to truly feel the benefits of yin yoga, it is imperative to come into a state of surrender. The truth of yin yoga is that you are very likely going to get a little bit uncomfortable. And that’s what can make this yoga practice so challenging, but also so very rewarding.
 
The Goal of Yin Yoga
In Yin yoga we are essentially asking our muscles to get out of the way, to stop resisting so that we can place very gentle stress on our connective tissues, such as our ligaments, joints and our fascia. If we don’t pay them much attention, these dense tissues can stop us from moving at an optimal level and we can feel stuck. When we feel stuck...
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