8 Days of Living Yoga: Day 2: Yama to Niyama

Well, i have to say that even saying i was going to do this seems to have elevated my day a bit! Last night the Tot woke up a couple of hours after i went to bed and didnt go back to sleep for ages; but then with 2 sleep-dodging little ones in my bed i did have the chance to put my postitive thoughts into practice! Instead of getting frustrated when she tossed and turned and demanded milk, i tuned in to my heart and felt love and compassion. It did make giving in and coming downstairs to get her some milk an easier decision, feeling less like defeat than it might have done if my tired mind had been in control.Getting in some solo practice this morning before they woke up was laughably impossible with a wriggling Tot in my bed! However i did do a short heart-centred meditation after coming downstairs, while they were there. Easy and very do-able, i do think this has helped my day start well, and i mean to do something similar every morning, along with a bit of deep breathing/ yogic complete breath, which i have slipped from doing every morning recently, distracted by getting on with the day.

I have been reflecting throughout the day on the bits of the Yoga Sutras'(The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)- section on the 5 Yamas, and i do feel drawn to the words on truthfulness. This says that we should only speak truth, so not telling lies or white lies, and speaking the truth, but only if that truth is pleasant and wont be hurtful. If it will have a negative effect that we are aware of, we should for example say ‘ i know, but i dont want to say’.

There is so much within the Yamas that can be used in every day situations, like asteya- non- stealing, which is not just about material things but also can be not stealing someone’s time.

I conclude that the Yamas are to be referred back to when a situation arises that i’m not sure about or need guidance on, and also now and again just to reflect on how my conduct measures up with these principles.

So, next is the Niyamas: NIYAMA: ‘Internal conduct’.

Whereas Yama is about external conduct, Niyama is about individual discipline; ow we treat ourselves. This includes: Saucha (Purity) (of thought, word and deed); Santosa (contentment); Tapas (austerity, purification); svadhyayad (Study of self and spiritual texts); Isvara Pranidhanam (Dedication of life to the divine/ humanity).

Lets see how the next 24 hrs of reflecting on, and trying to live the Niyamas goes! Goodnight.