Faded Summer, Vibrant Autumn

It is that time of year! The cool winds from the North have chased our Summer breezes away, bringing with them the enticing hues of slowly changing leaves, the scent of crisp mornings, and sounds of harvest. As the season change, so do our practices. We begin different routines, shop for different things, and usuallyContinue reading “Faded Summer, Vibrant Autumn”

Ishvarapranidhana

“Tapah-svadhyayesvara-pranidhanani kriya-yogah” –Kriya-yoga, the path of action, consists of self-discipline, study, and dedication to the Lord. Yoga Sutra 2.1 The fifth niyama Ishvarapranidhana is surrender to the Lord, the Divine. While it is not pointing out a specific religious identity, it is merely the idea that one must surrender to the Divine within ourselves, asContinue reading “Ishvarapranidhana”

Svadhyaya

  Our fourth Niyama. Self study, study of the Vedas and Sutras, introspection… Svadhyaya is introduced in book two of the sutras, tapah svadhyayes vara pranidhanani kriya yoga; Kriya yoga, the path of action, consists of self-discipline, study, and dedication to the Lord. II.1.This is Yoga in action, and all lead to a sort of self realization andContinue reading “Svadhyaya”

Tapas

Tapas, deep meditation in Sanskrit. In the context of yoga, tapas refers to the fire that burns within. It is also linked to austerity in mind, body, spirit, and a spiritual effort. On the path to enlightenment, one must conquer aspect of human nature, as well as the pressures from our cultures and society. Tapas is the niyamaContinue reading “Tapas”

Santosha

The second niyama is santosha, contentment. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 11.42, santosha is described as life’s greatest happiness that cannot be shaken. It is about accepting yourself, those around you, and the world around you as it is. It is looking at the situations and people in your life, and realizing that none of them are badContinue reading “Santosha”

Soucha

The first of the niyamas, our external observances, is saucha. Saucha is cleanliness or purity. In yoga, we always talk about a wholeness of body, mind, and soul, and the yamas and the niyamas are meant to be applied in this way. So we are not just discussing the cleanliness or purity of your physical body, butContinue reading “Soucha”