Inward Disciplines and Virtuous Habits

The Niymas is an important limb in the yoga path as it brings the daily internal disciplines and habits to promote the goal of ultimate bliss. The Niyamas are:

saucha (cleanliness)
santosha (contentment)
tapas (self-discipline)
svadhyaya (self-reflection)
ishvarapranidhana (surrender to a higher power)


Saucha is the engagement of cleanliness in mind, body, and communication. We begin with the body.

Keeping our bodies clean seems obvious but it is more than taking a shower. Cleansing with the right foods and herbs is also in this category along with taking care of it with proper sleep and exercise.

Saucha also takes us into the area that surrounds us including where we live work, play, and practice. Keeping these areas clean and free from clutter makes our lives simpler and less distracting.

Taking it a step further we also need to keep the mind clean too. Keeping it free from unclean thoughts and focusing on positive life direction is imperative for a clean mind.

Finally, clean communication is part of the saucha niyama as we strive to both listen and speak succinctly and mindfully.


Santosha is acceptance of what is without judgment. It is the inner contentment of what is.

Tapas: Tapas are self-discipline, persistence, perseverance with austerity, and even asceticism.

Svadhyaya: Svadhyaya is the study of the yogic writings, the study of oneself, and self-reflection of thoughts words, and deeds.

Ishvarapranidhana: Ishvarapranidhana is the surrender to a higher power.

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