These are internal observances that lead on from the Yama’s. Niyama provides guidance on creating a positive environment in which to grow
Saucha – Translates to living purely. This involves maintain cleanliness in your life, including what you consume both physically, mentally and environmentally. Eating healthy food, experiencing events that uplift and inspire you are a couple of the ways that Saucha is developed. Saucha can also be described as having a more mindful experience of life, this relates to experiencing the moment and being fully present. This practice then leads to greater appreciation for all things.
Santosha – Translates to the practice of contentment and the ability to feel satisfied within the moment. This isn’t the same as feeling happy, it relates to having a sense semblance in all situations no matter how pleasant or distressing. This doesn’t mean we accept situations or circumstances that are unhealthy or damaging but when these arise we can raise ourselves to have patience and compassion to live the nest way we can regardless of situation.
Tapas – Translates to fire or heat of motivation. Tapas reflects the level of passion and enthusiasm we have in our experience in life. Certain tasks can be experienced as mundane or boring, having a Tapas approach to this can transform the experience at the sense of gratitude once complete. Tapas keeps us on task, encourages us to be efficient and effective in all that we do and represents the opposite to procrastination. Developing Tapas may require attending a regular yoga class or spending time with inspiring people.
Swadyaya – Translates to self-study, this includes growing an awareness of our strengths and limitations. This non-judgemental self-enquiry can provide all the information we need to understand where development is required and in some cases acceptance is allowed. It is important to not enter in a self-critical or self-loathing state, it is important that consideration is given to seeking support of a mentor through parts of the Swadyaya journey.
Ishvarapranidhana – Translates to the celebration of the Spiritual. A practice of Ishvarapranidhana relates to taking time to acknowledge that there is a divine force larger than ourselves that is guiding the course of our life. Having a daily practice creates an opportunity to find stillness to acknowledge the divine, this can take the form of concentrating on the breath for a few minutes, a daily yoga practice and spending time in a peaceful environment like a garden. Creating this practice then gives space for awareness of what is in our life that does not serve us and creates awareness of those things that do.