According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the “pathway” (the way towards development and evolution of consciousness and its elevation to the light) of yoga leads upwards to eight stages. In the previous article we discussed about yamas, the first stage.

The secong stage, Niyamas, requires more self-discipline and aims to internal and external purity.

  1. Saucha (purity)

Of body, environment, mind and heart

The rules of external cleanliness are specific and widely known; internally, though, we need constant fight to keep our thoughts, feelings and desires clear. “Nothing less than purity follows the truth.”

  1. Santosha (contentment)

Accepting ourselves and all that happen in present. Every fight against it holds back the way to freedom. “The only potential of taking over your life is here and now.”

  1. Tapas (austerity and self-discipline)

It is essential to grow the ability of maintaining balance, keep obligations and promises and replace bad habits with good ones, in order to ensure harmony with those around us and our selves. Only this way we set the premises for our mental development.

  1. Svadhyaya (self-observation, self-examination, self-discovery)

Observe yourselves with constant interest and accept whatever may come up with the intention of understanding, not judging. Notice all those things that keep you attached to the past (thoughts, feelings of guilt, prejudices, negative feelings), allow them to appear on the surface, go through the deeper causes of your actions and analyze their consequences. “One is able to heal everything from the past if they have the ability of observing themselves.”

  1. Ishvara Pranidhana (delivery of ourselves, actions and their results to a higher power)

Actions motivated by personal will which has trusted in divine power result into better situations. “Everything is part of a bigger plan.”

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