Tag Archives: Yama

yama and niyama project

So in one of my classes here at the Ayurvedic Institute, we had to pick a Yama and Niyama to implement into our lives and work on. Yama and Niyama are 2 of the limbs of Patanjali‘s 8-limb path of Yoga.

Essentially, Yamas are the restraints and Niyamas are the things that you should do.
Yamas: Non-lying, non-stealing, non-violence, non-coveting, and continence.
Niyamas: cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrendering to God

I thought it was pretty neat that our teacher made it seem like a very tangible project. That it’s not hard to just implement some of these into your life if you just try. The ones that I picked are “non-stealing” and “self-discipline”. Folks, before you get all tizzied up. No, I do not steal, but there was a sense of contentment and satisfaction that went along with this one. A sense of not wanting more and more past what you have already. Anyways, it definitely appealed to me.

I think it’s just neat to try this little experiment out. Sure a lot of it you need a ton of faith in yourself, discipline, and plenty of effort on your end, but the harder you try, somehow it becomes a lot easier to practice. The more you try the easier the universe will make it for you to achieve your goal. It’s incredible how much latent strength you have hidden somewhere in you, that is just waiting to come out and be displayed.

You don’t even have to pick a yama or niyama. If you have really just wanted to start a practice or habit, all you have to do is just put in the effort, and then everything will fall into place with just a little bit of faith. The universe is inherently looking out for you. It is inherently taking care of you and wanting to take care of you. Sure, at times it may feel like it’s every man for himself, but there are unseen forces who are constantly on your side as your little cheerleaders, hoping and helping you achieve anything you put your heart to.

When I was little, I was told that I can achieve anything I want if I put my heart into it and have faith in something greater than myself. And it’s so true. Naturally, I didn’t realize this until I got older. But, this little project has taught me just that. Am I perfect now? Heck no. The first 3 weeks we were assigned this, I just kept forgetting. But, at least now I am thinking about it. Step one, right?

Just ask for strength and the universe will give it you. It’s a pretty great relationship if you ask me!

Just keep telling yourself that you are incredible, and that you really can achieve anything you want to. It’s all possible. Trust me.

Happy weekend folks! Go out and be amazed at what this world has to offer you!


crowd control please

I hope everyone has had a positive-filled weekend, remembering that negative, bad, and the evil in our life can easily be eradicated if we focus on the good that surrounds us both internally and externally.

On that note, I think it is safe to say that everyone knows India is a crowded country. You can’t really feel it when you’re travelling through the villages and the countryside, but it is very apparent when you’re in big cities like Ahmedebad. And if you didn’t realize it, take my word for it. Everywhere you go, the traffic you encounter is unreal. The masses of people hoarding in one area is astronomical, and storefronts crowd every street and alley. It’s ridiculous and a little burdensome.

And I can’t forget that there aren’t really such things as traffic laws and such, not in Ahmedebad at least.  No one uses lanes on the road, people just cut you off if they’re trying to turn, you never know when a scooter (essentially a moped) or a motorcycle is literally right next to you in your car, and all you hear is car horns honking (even though it’s not creating any sort of movement, and is simply a loud noise that I still haven’t gotten accustomed to). But, I guess this is what creates some of that good ole’ Indian charm. I was telling my dad one day about how ridiculous the traffic and congestion is here, and he told me that everyone here is just used to it.

It made me think that there are so many situations in my life where I’ve “overcrowded” myself, and have merely gotten used to it. But, this behavior isn’t exactly what’s going to help me reach the Supreme. I have stuff. A lot of freaking stuff. I have things and ideas and wishes and goals and role models and friends and just a lot of stuff. All this stuff isn’t exactly bad, it can most definitely be beneficial to my life, and can even help me on my spiritual journey. However, I have to ask myself, is all this stuff, just stuff I’m used to? Or is it really good for me? Am I just honking the horn because that’s what I’m used to, or is it really creating a progressive movement in my life?

Simplicity is probably one of the hardest ideas to instill in our life. We’re surrounded by so much glitter, shine, sparkle, and glamour of literally just things, that they become wants we can’t control. When was the last time you were seriously really satisfied? Even when it comes to food, (and everyone knows I love food. A lot.) I’m sitting, eating a meal, but I eat more than what will bring me satisfaction. Yeah, it tastes good, but is gorging myself with 4 spinach enchiladas, chips, queso, salsa, AND the side of rice and beans going to be beneficial for me? Probably not. It’s way more than my stomach can handle.

In Yoga, there are 8 branches. The first two are Yama (pronounced: YUM) and Niyama (pronounced KNEE-YUM). There are five yamas, which are the universal moralities, or characteristics that we should try to infuse in our life. The 5th one is aparigraha, which means neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard wealth. We should take only what is necessary. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy that Michael Kors tote, by all means do! If you’ve been blessed by God, than definitely utilize what He has given you. But it comes down to are you literally attached to that bag? And is that bag hindering you from reaching the Ultimate? I deal with this issue a lot. I like shoes. I have probably over 50 pairs, and in all honestly, yes I am a little attached to my shoes. So, it’s definitely not an easy task, but we have to keep reminding ourselves, are those 50+ pairs of shoes going to get us to our goal, or are they going to hinder us? The same goes for the niyamas, there are 5 as well, which are more personal governances. The 2nd one is santosa, or contentment. We need to create a feeling to be content with what we have. It’s always awesome to have nice, new things. But, we don’t need nice new things all of the time. All that glitters isn’t always gold (or however that saying goes).

This process of detoxifying our life isn’t an easy one. You face a lot of things that isn’t always comfortable or going to make you happy. I started this process a little over a year ago, when I realized that I wasn’t living my life like I intended to. I wasn’t proud of who I had become, and I lost sight of what my goal in life was. I slowly started to decrease the negative in my life, and increasing the positive. I stopped going out every weekend, and started spending more time with myself and with God. Sure, a lot of my friends probably thought I was a recluse, but looking back, I’m not unhappy. In fact, I’m at a point where I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. During that time, I learned who my real true friends were (shoutout to AP, KR, KA, and EW for real), and realized who only called me to go out. I don’t like anyone less or anyone more, but I realized what I really needed to make me the best me.

It is so incredibly easy to crowd ourselves with information overload, negativity, and bad habits, all of which only hinder our ability to continue on a path of progression. But, we have to keep the goal in mind. A great tool that I’ve begun to use is every morning when I wake up, I think of a couple things I’m grateful for. Some are ridiculous, like the ability for me to afford 50+ pairs of shoes, and some aren’t so ridiculous like people in my life who love me. When we are constantly looking at what we already have, we fill a void in our life that is wanting more and more. Another great tool is to constantly remind yourself of what your goal is. You can write it on your mirror so you see it every morning while getting ready, post sticky notes around the house, or wake up and tell yourself, hey, this is my goal, and this is how I’m going to get there. We’re human, we forget, but how often do we forget is the key. Reminders are always great! We all need them.

Today, reevaluate what you have in your life. Be grateful, be proud, but most importantly, be satisfied!

Mosquito Bite Count: just 2 🙂 | Serious Craving: aforementioned enchilada supreme dinner

*for more information on the 8 limbs of yoga, here is a great website with general descriptions: Eight Limbs of Yoga

so much sparkle

seriously, the masses of people gathered in one area is a lot.

there’s never any room to park your scooter, let alone your car