Yama and Niyama

After the theoretical outline this Ashtanga Yoga Guide would like to give some ideas and recommendations about how to implement the Yoga lifestyle into your life. Following the path of Ashtanga Yoga we have eight parts that need to be taken care of. Again, this Yoga guide focuses on the needs of males practitioners. But women are also very invited to perform the following routines and exercises.

The first two parts refer to the code of conduct on the social (Yama) and personal (Niyama) basis. Each consists of five values that need to be regarded. And not just regarded but internalized. But how do we do that?
It would not be recommendable to deal with all ten values at once. A more promising approach would be to focus on one value at a time. Try to understand the meaning of that very value fully and practice to live up to it more and more every day. Give yourself a certain amount of time, like one to two months before you move on to the next value.

Svadhyaya would be a good value to start with. It teaches us to develop a self-reflecting awareness, the study of ourself. This represents a good tool to analyze your own person. We learn to reflect our behaviour, at best in as many situations as possible. Ask yourself if your acting was appropriate or not? What could you have done better? Once you have gained a feeling for self-reflection you pick the next value and analyse it accordingly.

It can also be very helpful to document your progress. Recommendable would be writing a diary. This isn’t just a good tool to reflect but also to process the day with all its happenings. But most important is regular practice. At best every day. Try to live up to your chosen value every single day. And if it is just in a few situations. With the time you will have adopted the value and you follow it automatically without even thinking about it.