Niyamas – The Rules for personal behaviour

There are five niyamas, rules for personal behaviour or codes for living a soulful life.

The first is saucha (purity). This involves maintaining cleanliness in body, mind and one’s environment. The practice of saucha generates beauty and allows us to appreciate beauty in all of its forms.

Santosa (contentment) can be described as the ability to feel satisfied within the context of one’s immediate experience. When we are at peace with ourselves and the circumstances we find ourselves in and can sustain hope even when there are few signs that things will improve we know that we are content in our lives.

Tapas (burning enthusiasm). The disciplined use of our energy.  When we are enthusiastic about our convictions we generate momentum that carries us forward. We should have enough self respect to make choices which will nourish our wellbeing and provide us with opportunities for spiritual growth.

Svadhyaya (spiritual exploration/self study). Self study uncovers our strengths, weaknesses, habits, negative and positive tendencies. We need to continue learning about ourselves as individuals remembering that we usually learn most about ourselves when life gets tough.

Ishvara Pranidhana (cultivating the spiritual). The recognition that there is a force greater than ourselves guiding and directing the course of our lives. In order to fulfil our destiny we need to surrender to that force.



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