- We will focus on one of the ten Yamas and Niyamas each month. transitioning to the next one on the 1st of each month.
- You get to listen, reflect and, if you like, share your questions, awareness and experiences.
- We will learn from each other…a community life-study as we each walk the path of awareness and self-observation.
The Yamas and Niyamas are the first two limbs of Patanjali’s eightfold path. Stephen Cope, author of The Wisdom of Yoga (Bantam Books 2006) describes them as “the most comprehensive exposition of the ancient wisdom tradition of yoga…. the two-thousand year old treatise called, the Yogasutra” (sutra translates as thread). Stephen further comments that,
…the eightfold path is considered one of the most effective approaches that enable us to “realize the full potential of being human.”
The Yamas are considered to be restraints – restraints of the animal instincts to keep us out of trouble and behave ethically.
The Niyamas are considered to be observances. They are suggestions for how to approach personal practice and reduce our own suffering.
These form the character-building foundation of yoga. The next two limbs are asana (posture) and pranayama (breathing practices). The last four limbs build on asana and pranayama and are all mental states. Pratyahara (inward focus), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (merging with all that is).