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The Yamas and Niyamas

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

As yoga practitioners, it is important to invite a more and more pure lifestyle. This includes a satiated diet and observance of the Yamas and Niyamas. The Yamas and Niyamas from the Sage Patanjali do not constitute the first two stages of the eight-limbed path of Yoga practice for no reason: In fact, they can be considered "the 10 commandments of yoga", which form the basis of the entire practice. In yoga, without ethics, there is no spiritual growth. The Yamas and Niyamas form an orientation in life.


The Yamas consists of five basic principles which form the basis for a peaceful atmosphere in which the practitioner can follow his teaching. But also in daily life, the Yamas serve us as a guideline to find a fair and peaceful interaction with our fellow human beings, animals, plants, and all other parts of the world.

1. Ahimsa: non-harming, non-violence

2. Satya: truthfulness

3. Brahmacharya: moderation of the senses and passions; avoiding extremes and not allowing oneself to be controlled by one's lusts

4, Aparigraha: Freedom from greed, possessiveness

5. Asteya: Non-stealing


In yoga, the Niyamas are the ethical principles for dealing with oneself. These principles can provide orientation for a more satisfying life. While the Yamas deal with the principles of dealing with the outside world and thus ensure a peaceful coexistence, the Niyamas are the counterpart: they give us guidance in dealing with our bodies and self.

1. Saucha: Purity

2. Santosha: Contentment, gratitude for what is.

3. Tapas: asceticism, leading a simple life, discipline

4. Swadhyaya: the study of spiritual scriptures and self-reflection

5. Ishwarapranidhana: worship of God, devotion


In the 200hr Yoga Teacher Training Courses with Madan Yoga, we take a deep look into Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga as part of the Yoga Philosophy Module, including a thorough discussion about the Yamas and Niyamas.

To learn more about our 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in Nepal, please visit here.

Namaste!




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