The Yamas and the Niyamas are the first two limbs on the Eight Limb Path of Yoga as found in the ancient text the Yoga Sutras written by Patañjali in 400 CE. At this time, he synthesized and organized a variety of knowledge about yoga from older traditions to create what we now hold dearly as a comprehensive guide to support one's ability to live a happy, healthy and meaningful life. Inspired by these teachings, below are ten positive affirmations I created to embody the teachings of the Yamas and Niyamas. Enjoy!
The five Yamas focus on your behaviors and how you conduct yourself in life.
1. Ahimsa | non-violence: “I treat myself and others with care and compassion. I honor all living beings.”
2. Satya | truth: “I am honest in my thoughts, my speech, and my actions. I express my truth from a place of love and kindness.”
3. Asteya | non-stealing: “I am supported by the abundance of the universe. There is enough for everyone - I attract all that I need.”
4. Brahmacharya | resisting desire: “I value my energy and honor my truth. I stand strong in my no and clear in my yes."
5. Aparigraha | non attachment: “I am willing to let go. I free myself of what no longer serves my highest self.”
The five Niyamas focus on taking care of yourself; body, mind, and spirit.
1. Saucha | cleanliness: “I cleanse my body, mind, aura and surroundings daily. I clear away clutter with ease.”
2. Santosha | contentment: ”I love and accept myself and others in the here and now. I choose joy."
3. Tapas | self-discipline: “I choose to fully step into my personal power. I am passionate and driven.”
4. Svadhyaya | self-study: “I create positive change by releasing limiting thoughts and harmful habits. I am self-aware and ever-evolving.”
5. Ishvara Pranidhana | surrender: “I trust the process of life. I surrender to the mystery.“
Positive affirmations can be used in the midst of everyday life, to set intentions, or as a meditation.
Try This 108 Mala Meditation:
1. Choose one of the Yama or Niyama affirmations that you would like to focus on and embody.
2. Hold the bead closest to the guru bead or if you are using a rosary hold the bead closest to the cross.
3. Inhale, recite the first sentence of the positive affirmation silently to yourself or out loud (whatever you prefer). Exhale, recite the second part.
4. Move on to the next bead and repeat step three.
5. Go around the entire mala or rosary (108 beads total) until you get to the guru bead or cross. Then pause in stillness and silence as you allow yourself to absorb the benefits of this practice. Surrender to the sacred silence, fully releasing the affirmation and have trust that the universe has heard what you are calling in.
More Ways to Embody these Positive Affirmations:
Write them down in a journal
Share them with others - by sharing we can better embody what we are learning
Write them on a post-it note or stationary and place in a spot you see everyday; i.e. fridge, mirror, car, etc.
Create your own positive affirmations based on this theme to make it your own
Repeat these affirmations to yourself when you feel that you are struggling to fully embody certain Yamas or Niyamas
May these seed thoughts support you on your journey.
Peace & Joy,