Yoga Lifestyle:  The Yamas & Niyamas

Over the next 10 months, Yoganand will be sharing with us a few thoughts on the Yamas & Niyamas.  The Yamas and Niyamas were created as practitioners observed how various behaviors and attitudes off the mat affected their yoga practice.  We know that stress not only affects our mind but can also impact the suppleness of our muscles, and worry, fear and anxiety can restrict our breathing.  Stress and its effects can be a hindrance when we try to sit in meditation.

Ancient yogis addressed similar issues in many ways, and the various schools of yoga created systems to govern behavior and attitudes.The Bhagavad Gita 3:19 says…”Therefore always perform your duty efficiently and without attachment to the results, because by doing work without attachment one attains the Supreme.”Schools developed systems to help students avoid the largest disturbances.  The techniques were either categorized as Yama or Niyama.  Yama means to restrain or hold back, and the practice has to do with how we interact and move in the world.  Niyama means the same but is more internal and personal – it has to do with how we interact with ourselves.

Join us next month as Yoganand shares about Ahimsa – Non-Violence.