How I aspire to live the niyamas

One day at a time. I try to live this way rather than set a specific time to practice each. But I do find it useful to revisit and bring attention to them.

But broadly…

Saucha - I think of this as purity in my thoughts and mind, as trying to purify the body leads to realizing it’s not pure. It can’t be. It’s matter. It is what it is. So no detox for me. Others have written that and it’s been my experience that it leads to a lack of regard for the physical as ultimate and a preference for purity in presence. And as it were in actions, my karmas.

Santosha-

Right now it’s like this, as one of my teachers says. How can I be with what is and find contentment? It’s not accepting things complacently or not wanting things to be better, but that things are what they are, and I can’t change what is. Even when it sucks, where is there contentment. Sometimes this leads me to gratitude.

Tapas -

I make it a point to get out of my habits. Sometimes that means adding metaphorical fire to my practice by going heavy and hard in strength. Sometimes it’s challenging myself to dial back when I usually would go deep. It’s the thing that keeps me going. When I trained for triathlons, distance running races, doing grad school, the consistency of showing up is my practice of tapas.

Svadhyaya -
Even after YTT i continue to read texts, including groups like this for discussion. I continue to study the body, and I often use my asana practice as a chance to witness my own experience to the physical practice of asana.

Isvara Pranidhana -

I’m an atheist, so my Isvara is likely different than that of Patanjali. But I do surrender, my efforts aren’t just for me. This practice isn’t just for sculpting my butt. My calm mind isn’t to make my boss more money. My efforts aren’t mine, I serve. And that’s because I know it’s not all about me. I’m one human of billions, in a planet of billions of species, in a galaxy bigger than I can imagine, in a universe more expansive than I can comprehend. What I perceive is only a small part of matter interpreted by my senses so that I can exist and make sense. Yet everything is interconnected. We are all connected. And it’s that interconnectedness that I surrender to. I can’t control it all, so right back to what my teacher has said, right now it’s like this. Why fight it?