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How Yoga Helps Me Become an Evolved Version of Myself

After a first decade of ongoing learning and practice of the beautiful and challenging world of Yoga, I have spent the past couple of years diving and immersing more into the lifestyle and philosophy behind the Asanas (poses), Pranayama (breathing), and Dharana (concentration).

The Yamas & Niyamas - or sometimes referenced to as the "dos and don'ts" of the Yogic path towards enlightenment. They originated from the very well-known work of Patanjali, "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali". The Yoga Sutras are like a list of guidance towards what to take into consideration to be and do good in this life and beyond.

There are 8 "limbs" of Yoga as part of the Yoga Sutras:

  • Yama (moral discipline)

  • Niyama (observances)

  • Asana (physical postures)

  • Pranayama (breathing techniques)

  • Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)

  • Dharana (concentration)

  • Dhyana (absorption or meditation)

  • Samadhi (enlightenment or bliss)

You might have come across a few of the above before. Although, don't worry if you haven't, we will discuss all 8 limbs in this blog with the tag Yoga Sutras. We will start today with a short introduction of the Yamas and Niyamas, which we will explore in multiple ways here in this blog and during our Yoga classes together.

In the Yoga Sutras, the Yamas are described as below:

  • Ashimsa (non-violence),

  • Asteya (non-stealing),

  • Satya (truthfulness),

  • Aparigraha (non-greed / non-possessiveness),

  • and Brahmacharya (celibacy or "right use of energy")

And the Niyamas as:

  • Saucha (cleanliness)

  • Santosha (contentment)

  • Tapas (discipline, austerity or ‘burning enthusiasm)

  • Svadhyaya (study of the self and of the texts)

  • Isvara Pranidhana (surrender to a higher being, or contemplation of a higher power)

When advancing in my practice and attending workshops and retreats which would focus on specific topics of interest, I have realised how my thinking process and my emotional intelligence have changed over time.

The Yamas and Niyamas are much more to me today than the list you read in this post. They may also already be for you, or this could be the very first time you hear about them. For those of you who knows me, you know I don't pretend to know it all on the topic. I am beyond grateful for the learning and experience so far, excited to be able to share it, and ecstatic to the idea of all the unknown I am yet to discover.

There is so much to learn and to practise. Together we can teach and learn from each other, our different experiences and learnings...this is what community is all about. How amazing!

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