Our niyamas are about our personal observances and self-discipline. Niyamas are our relationship to self. Niyamas include how we respond internally to external stimulation, and the ability to establish and maintain a sense of self integrity. If you have strong religious convictions, this may mean that you attend your services regularly or you say grace before your meals. Niyamas involve self care, which may include meditation, self-love and simply creating time in your busy life to care for yourself and keep up with your personal observances. Think about being true to yourself. The niyamas are about having peace with yourself. Our niyamas are about our personal observances and self-discipline.
There are 5 Niyamas: Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, and Ishvara Pranidhana.
We will just take one Niyama a day so we can really delve into them. I would love to have any discussions with you guys as we work through these!
Saucha: is the practice of purification. Traditional yogis were wise and knew that impurities, and uncleanliness, both externally and internally, stand in the way of achieving ultimate enlightenment and spiritual liberation. There are traditional means of practicing saucha and then there are more modern ways of practicing saucha.
Traditionally, the use of a neti pot for nasal cleansing was used. Dhauti, which is a means of cleaning the digestive tract and Bhasti, or colon cleansing, is one form of Dhauti. Also there is Nauli that another form of Dhauti, and is an abdominal massage, sometimes referred to as “churning.” I have had the abdominal massage, and it feels amazing as well as stimulated my digestive system to expel.
Another traditional form that I myself use is Kappalabhati, or “shining skull breath.” It’s a very powerful nasal cleanser as well as the frontal lobe. It takes practice but is well worth getting the hang of it. Another traditional form is Trakata or “blinkless gazing,” sometimes called “candle gazing.” I use the candle gazing often during meditation, it usually helps me relax quicker into the meditation.
This day and age most yogis stick with showering and having good hygiene, eating holistic food, decluttering their space not only their personal work space but also their mind space. Keeping their mats cleaned, keeping their equipment clean. Another good practice is the daily mantra of “letting go of that which does not serve you”!
So start today and think of ways you can clean and declutter your personal space. If you do, please tell me how it goes and how you feel.