Niyamas

Of the limbs of yoga, the Niyamas struck me as most descriptive of the place I feel I am in now at this point in my life.
The idea of contentment is what I think everything I’m doing is ideally going to lead to. I think this idea stuck out to me because it is exactly what I think I’m lacking. Sometimes not having a definitive direction fuels my feeling of anxiety and discontent. I try to understand the idea of santosha being something we allow ourselves to embrace regardless of the material possessions or the external circumstances, but I think many of us have come to expect a something for every effort, and I relate my sense of happiness and contentment to that. “Cultivating opposites brings positive fruits”. I didn’t really understand this at first until I continued reading that it’s referring to cultivating opposites of those bad tendencies we have. When I try to improve myself, I think in terms of stopping doing certain things. I like the idea of not just ceasing the bad habits, but focusing on the opposite of that – the good habits. I was asking my boyfriend about bad habits I have to get a perspective of what the opposites would be. I kept rejecting his suggestions until he finally said that my bad habits are not going to be things I like or agree on, they just are there. I realized that maybe there are things I don’t accept as flaws because acknowledging them would mean I’d have to do something about it and change them. While I don’t do it often, I think self-reflecting would be a very revealing practice to take up.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anne Schultz
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 15:35:39

    that’s a brave conversation to have with a loved one.

    Reply

    • contemplatingyoga
      Oct 10, 2011 @ 16:38:47

      I never thought of if like that, but I think you’re right. I think the reason having those kind of conversations with people we love is most challenging is because they are the people who are most likely to be honest in ways that we don’t necessarily like. They see us from a perspective that we don’t consider or suppress.

      Reply

  2. Tiffany Lane Gallegos
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 21:17:32

    Yeah it’s hard when someone points out areas we need to work on, especially certain negative aspects about ourselves. Because then we actually have to work on correcting them, which may not always be easy. I tend to struggle with ignoring some of my flaws in hopes they go away. But I found that doesn’t work, so I agree that self-reflection is one way we can try to look at ourselves, even if we don’t like some of the things we see, in order to correct them.

    Reply

    • contemplatingyoga
      Oct 10, 2011 @ 16:42:49

      Yes, I’ve definitely used that tactic too of ignoring something in hopes of it disappearing. The issue usually just resurfaces in one way or another. In yoga something I’ve found is that ignoring those poses that I don’t immediately enjoy just doesn’t work. The unappealing pose has elements used repeatedly in other poses, so inevitably I end up doing it.

      Reply

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