Niyama - Personal Observances

Last month we reviewed the yama or universal observances. This month we examine the niyama or personal observances. As the first two limbs, the yama and niyama establish the foundation of Patanjali's eight-limbed practice of Yoga.

As yama is universal social practices, niyama evolves from individual practices that strength one's character. The Sanskrit word yama translates as; to bridle, to restrain, to check or hold-in. The prefix 'ni'  as inniyama, is an intensifier signaling an internal restraint and discipline.

The five niyama are purity (shauca), contentment (santosha), discipline (tapah), self-study (svadhyaya) and the perfect aligning of attention with the True Self (ishvara-pranidhana). Purity extends beyond the external cleanliness of the physical body to include the nourishment that goes into body, the sensory impressions taken in via personal relationships/media and the subtle quality of thoughts and beliefs.  Contentment as an internal practice means embracing an Absolute Joy that is independent of external circumstances or conditions.  It is relaxing into the world as it is and the letting go of external attachments that allows one to abide in the here and the now.  Tapah, literally "to heat," is an intense commitment to the internal process.  Each time a distracting impulse, intense emotion or outdated habit surfaces but is not obeyed the heat of this friction moves us closer to discriminating awareness.  Self-study is independent study of philosophical texts and, more importantly, how one applies them to one's own life in order to "walk the talk."  Lastly, isvara-pranidhana.  Isvara is pure awareness, the omniscient Self, the Seer or the God within.  Pranidhana is orienting every thought, word and deed toward knowing pure awareness. Chip Hartranft in his commentary on the Yoga Sutras sums it up beautifully, "Isvara-pranidhana provides the point of focus to which the yogi continually returns in the course of practice (abhyasa) and the inspiration to cultivate non-reaction (vairagya)."

The inner life of every human being is visited by unwholesome and negative thoughts of all kinds. Patanjali doesn't find fault or judge but rather regards this as the natural state of affairs.  He does, however, state that we have the power to neutralize unwholesome thoughts by cultivating and realizing their opposites.  Otherwise, our unwholesome thoughts are bound to manifest and contribute to the cycle of suffering, pain and delusion.  The ten yama and niyama serve as a baseline "karmic management" program that encourage us to take actions that allow us to gain mastery over our lives while minimizing karmic burden.

Mountain Yoga Is Now Tahoe Yoga Shala

For Immediate Release

Mountain Yoga Is Now Tahoe Yoga Shala

South Lake Tahoe, California. — South Lake Tahoe’s favorite yoga studio, Mountain Yoga, is now Tahoe Yoga Shala.  South Lake Tahoe resident, Laura Josephy, recently purchased the “the Shala” after instructing and managing the business since 2011.

The Sanskrit word shala (sh-ah-la) translates as home or abode.  It can also mean the upper branch of a tree.  When asked about the symbolism of the business’ new name and logo, Laura shared, “At the Shala we believe that one's ability to expand and blossom is directly proportional to one's ability to gather and root. This philosophy is reflected in our approach to the postures and breath techniques we practice and it is the platform upon which balanced and healthy lifestyle practices are founded and maintained.”  This dynamic equilibrium offers endless opportunity for self-discovery and awakening at the level of the body, mind and spirit. It is Laura’s hope that the Shala is held as a reliable home in which students can take their attention inward to engage this process.

Laura has been practicing yoga since 2001, teaching since 2003.  She has owned and managed yoga studios since 2005.  She is devoted to the yoga tradition and continuously seeks opportunities to study with renowned lineage teachers in order to deepen her personal practice and cultivate new methods to guide and support her students and teachers.  Laura believes that in order to become a master teacher, one must first be a masterful student.

The Shala will honor all existing Mountain Yoga memberships. Students enjoy a number of membership options that provide them with the flexibility and access necessary to support their work-life schedule.  The Shala offers discounted introductory offers to full-time Tahoe residents. Offering a variety of methods including Ashtanga, Restorative, Prenatal, Family, All-Bodies and Power Flow, the Shala’s 35 weekly classes aim to provide something for everyone. 

The Shala, is located in the Tahoe Keys Village at 585 Tahoe Keys Blvd, Suite F1A.  An Open House featuring free classes, teacher meet and greet ,live music, acro yoga demonstration and kids chakra art will be held on January 16, 2016 from 12 - 3 p.m.

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Laura Josephy

Owner

Tahoe Yoga Shala

530/543-1400

tahoeyogashala@gmail.com

www.tahoeyogashala.com