July Newsletter – Niyamas
Last days of July and we have hit some of the hottest days here in Houston. Looking at the Niyamas for the next 6 months, we can begin to turn inward, just as the days become shorter. Very in sync I would say. The Niyamas are about turning inward and looking at the self.
The Niyamas invite us to cleanse our mind body and thoughts. They invite us to fall in love with what we have going on in our lives. They encourage us to choose discipline and growth and to get to know the self better. And we are asked to pay attention to what life is asking of us.
The five Niyamas are purity, contentment, self-discipline, self study and surrender.In sanskrit they are known as Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya and Ishvara Pranidhana. As we study the Niyamas, we begin to move towards the interior of self.
In Iyengar’s Tree of Yoga, he likens the correspondence of the niyamas to the trunk of the tree. Saucha is the irrigation of the trunk, purifying the mind, body and soul so that all parts of the self live in harmony. Santosha is finding contentment and allowing the light to come in to be shed on all aspects of our lives. Tapas, better known as austerity can also be translated to burning desire. A burning desire to be cleansed and purified so the inner self can be illuminated. Svadhyaya study of the self, from the outer most self as in gross physical anatomy of our unique selves all the way to our most blissful states of our own spirit. Isvara-pranidhana, bhakti yoga, the devotional side of who we are. He states that when you reach a higher state of intelligence, that type of intelligence makes you lose your identity, and that’s when you become one with God because you surrender yourself to him.
Sending you all love and light as the days grow shorter and the cold nights bring us deeper into contemplative states to better know the niyamas.