It’s time to add to our pot! Continuing on the eight limbs of yoga, the main discussion of this blog will be the niyamas (the potatoes of our recipe, if you will). If you remember from the last time we discussed the limbs of yoga, the yamas focused on “the moral values of your life in the treatment of others and yourself.” Similarly to the yamas, the niyamas also have five subcategories; that said, they focus on how to live “soulfully.” They include: shaucha, santosha, tapas, swadhyaya, and ishvarapranidhana.
Starting off, shaucha, or purity, deals with being clean in mind and body. To achieve this, you should be focused on refraining from eating junk along with participating in or watching acts that are negative to yourselves. Moving on, shaucha, more easily translated as contentment, deals with accepting your current situation. This does not mean become complacent; when following this, you should still have aspirations, yet they should just be able to accept that work is still needed to attain these dreams. Moreover, swadhyaya, translated to “self-study,” pertains to anything that makes you analyze yoursef. This could be anything from rethinking your major to looking at your strengths and weaknesses. This is important to do to ensure that one is living a life that is fulfilling themselves. Lastly, we have ishvarapranidhana: the idea of putting meaning behind your life. Actions speak louder than words, but actions with no purpose get you nowhere.
So, we almost have everything that we need to finish our recipe. Now that you know about the niyamas and yamas, we know how to live morally and soulfully. In the final part of this piece, I’ll discuss the final six limbs of yoga and finally complete the meal.