an exercise in the yamas and niyamas


Here we are – 20 days from our departure date

In the last 6 months, I have managed to let go of most attachments to the material things that I had acquired in my 30 years work in the corporate world

Now, with 20 days left for the final purge, I have found that my mentality has shifted – that in fact I am letting go of the past and the material attachments that I had and embracing the future – realizing, that those items that I have kept to the last minute are  creating more of a burden than they are bringing joy, and it is the memories attached to those items that I am holding dear to my heart

Finding balance between my corporate world and my yogic world has of course been a struggle, but at times like this – I am reminded of the yogic path that I have chosen and why this wisdom resonates so very strongly within me

Below is an excerpt which gives the reader a snap shot of this path…

The Yamas and the Niyamas are the first two of the Eight Limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra


The yamas are broken down into five characteristics. Rather than a list of dos and don’ts, they tell us that our fundamental nature is compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful. They are as follows:

Yamas (Universal Morality)

Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things

Satya – Commitment to Truthfulness

Asteya – Non-stealing

Brahmacharya – Sense control

Aparigraha – Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard wealth

The Yoga Sutra describes what happens when these five behaviors outlined above become part of a person’s daily life. Thus, the yamas are the moral virtues which, if attended to, purify human nature and contribute to health and happiness of society.

Niyama (Personal Observances)

 Niyama means “rules” or “laws.”  These are the rules prescribed for personal observance. Like the yamas, the five niyamas are not exercises or actions to be simply studied. They represent far more than an attitude. Compared with the yamas, the niyamas are more intimate and personal. They refer to the attitude we adopt toward ourselves as we create a code for living soulfully

Sauca – Purity

Santosa – Contentment

Tapas – Disciplined use of our energy

Svadhyaya – Self study

Isvarapranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual

Read more about the Eight Limbs of Yoga at Expressions of Spirit (

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