Deepening Yoga Practice…………..

Yoga in Forster - Yama & Niyama discussions...


   Dhirata Yoga classes in Forster and Pacific Palms have been busy this term with most classes filling up :). As mentioned in my recent Dhirata Yoga newsletter we have been talking (well I have been doing a lot of the talking) about the Yama and Niyama, integral parts of the yoga philosophy of Patanjalis Eight Fold Path or Eight Limbs of Yoga; Ashtanga.

   

   Most of us are introduced to yoga through asana (postures), the 3rd step and pranayama (breath control), the 4th step on Patanjalis path. 

   

   Yoga asana is not necessarily a recipe for a perfect life or even happiness but it sure can make a difference. Pranayama, same, can help to make awesome change in how we feel and even think. But yoga as a whole, moving through all 8 steps, helps us to examine our attitudes and behaviours and how they play out in our lives. Yoga can help us to clear the dust off so that we can see how often we habitually behave and react to life and those around us rather than consciously respond. 

   

   The yama are the restraints and the 1st step, and niyama are the disciplines and the 2nd step on Patanjalis path. These are fundamental in our progress along the path of yoga, but over and above that, a beautiful way to live and bring the focus back to SELF! By following these principle truths and actioning them into our lives, change is inevitable. 

   

   For all yoga teachers this is part of our study. These principles colour in some of the blanks that may appear on our canvas as we try to put this deep and powerful philosophy together so that it makes some sense. We then hope that we can impart this to those that cross our paths as we teach. 

 

   For me it has been interesting to see how this action plays out from our physical experience to the spiritual, how we work from the inside out and then back again through Yoga. The yama and niyama are the moral and ehtical codes we try to embody so that we can truly practice from the heart and then take it out into the world with us. We may then find we can become, as Ghandi so aptly describes, 'the change we want to see in the world'. 

   

   So over the next couple of weeks I would like to write a little about my thoughts in this area of philosophy and then maybe we can continue along that train of thought with some comments, who knows what might come of this :) In the mean time, don't forget to spend some time in your practice on or off the mat, Om Satyam, Mjx