Ashtanga yoga is an eightfold path towards liberation.
- Yama: Moral Way of Living
- Niyama: Disciplining
- Asana: Movement of the Body
- Pranayama: Breath observation
- Pratyahara: Mental preparation
- Dharna: Concentration
- Dhyana: Meditation
- Samadhi: Mukti
List of observances and together Yamas and Niyamas are personal obligations to live well.
- Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Nonviolence, non-harming other living beings
Ahimsa speaks that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy; therefore, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself. Ahimsa has also been related to the notion that any violence has karmic consequences.
- Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood
Satya refers to being truthful in one’s thought, speech, and action. In Yoga, the virtuous restraint from any kind of falsehood and distortion of reality in one’s expressions and actions, also to understand all misapprehension.
- Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing
The practice of asteya demands that one must not steal, nor have the intent to steal another’s property through action, speech, and thoughts, and much which one can understand deeply when studying with the Guru for years.
- Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): chastity, marital fidelity, etc or that literally means “going after Brahman, the truth.
It’s been practiced in all stages of life. In one context, brahmacharya is the first of four ashramas (age-based stages) of human life, with grihastha (householder), vanaprastha (forest dweller), and sannyasa (renunciation). To understand deeply one must study under the Guru.
- Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice, non-possessiveness
It is the opposite of parigrah, and refers to keeping the desire for possessions to what is necessary or important, depending on one’s life stage and context.
- Shauca (शौच): Cleanliness/Purity
Keep yourself internally and externally clean, not just your body but your thoughts, your home, your surrounding, your behavior, etc.
- Santosha (संतोष): Contentment
Think about true happiness that comes from doing good and happiness that comes at the expense of others. Distinguish Between temporary and lasting happiness.
Practice being content in your honest efforts and what comes must, as a result, must be accepted as your blessings
- Tapas (तप): Discipline
Tapas means to burn yourself towards your goals and daily duties etc.
- Svadhyaya (स्वाध्याय): Study of the Self
To understand own yourself, before knowing or judging others.
- Ishvara Pranidhana (ईश्वर-प्रणिधान): Devotion to God
Be grateful every single day for your life. Have faith in your practices, Find a selfless source of inspiration.
The niyamas are the methods to refine you as a person.
They prepare us to deepen our practice and take us further to climb other limbs, without it, everything is gymnastics or monkey’s dance.
Think of them that can help you become the person you want to be. Try to incorporate them, along with the Yamas, into your everyday life.