The Yamas & Niyamas

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Course Overview

How can we be kinder to ourselves and invite harmony into our lives? How can we find greater contentment, trust, gratitude, humility, and joy?

The yamas and niyamas—the ethical restraints and observances outlined in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra—can help us address these common human questions. Exploring these concepts in depth can lead to a more fulfilling life and a deeper understanding of what it means to practice yoga.

In this 2-hour, comprehensive course:

Join Deborah Adele, author of The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice, and learn or sharpen your understanding of how to implement the yamas and niyamas into your practice. Along the way, Deborah shares how real life practitioners, herself included, have used these concepts to transform their lives.

This course is both relatable and inspiring. It's the perfect chance to re-ignite your practice motivations on and off the mat, and awaken a more balanced relationship to yourself and the world in which you are a part.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Course Outline

2hrs to complete

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Section 1
  • Course Guidebook

  • How can we use our yoga practice to bring harmony and peace into our communities and our world at large? We'll try to answer this question in this course through our exploration of the yamas and niyamas. Each of the segments in this workshop will provide points for practice and contemplation. Enjoy the process.
  • What's the big deal about the yamas and niyamas anyway? To discover their pertinence, let's examine both where these concepts come from and how they relate to the ultimate goal of yoga: mastering the mind.
  • The first yama is ahimsa, non-violence. But what is non-violence? What does it mean to do no harm to others? Deborah explains that while we often group actions into categories of "good" and "bad," the reality of non-harm is far more complex.
  • The second yama is satya, truthfulness. Deborah emphasizes that life is far more interesting once we start being honest. She shares how she has used this concept to become more authentic, real, and true to herself.
  • The third yama is asteya, non-stealing. Deborah invites us to contemplate: How do we steal from other beings? How do we steal from ourselves? How do we steal from the earth? What does it mean to steal at all? What you discover may surprise you.
  • The fourth yama is brahmacharya, non-excess. The practice of brahmacharya can help us reconnect to a sense of wonder and awe. Deborah equates it to a "mastery of the just-right place," and she asks us to contemplate: What makes us feel alive?
  • The fifth (and final) yama is aparigraha, non-possessiveness. Deborah explores how our minds, our relationships, and our awareness suffer when we are possessive. She also offers solutions as to how we can find greater freedom in our lives.
Section 2
  • The first niyama is saucha, purity. Saucha refers to a state of being that is unalloyed. Deborah reflects on what this state of being might look like through storytelling, including personal reflections from her own life.
  • The second niyama is santosha, contentment. How do we fall in love with what we have? How do we find equanimity? Deborah offers insightful suggestions.
  • The third niyama is tapas, self-discipline. Deborah explains that tapas can also be translated as catharsis, tolerance, and austerity. She explores the transformational nature of this niyama and how it can strengthen us and enhance our lives.
  • The fourth niyama is svadhyaya, self-study. Deborah describes this niyama as a "subtraction process" of letting go of our conditioning so we can see the reality of who we are. But how do we go about it? How do we put self-study into practice?
  • The fifth (and final) niyama is ishvara pranidhana, trustful surrender. Deborah explains how and why the other yamas and niyamas lead to this niyama, and how trustful surrender can be a game changer for our yoga practice.
Section 3
  • Deborah invites us to explore non-violence through the practice of tadasana (mountain pose).
  • Deborah guides us through a relaxation that invites us to let go of what no longer serves us, breath by breath.
  • Deborah invites us to sit or lie down in savasana. She reads a contemplative piece she wrote and then asks us to reflect on how it relates to the practice of the yamas and niyamas.
  • Deborah closes by explaining how we can carry the teachings of the yamas and niyamas forward into our lives in a practical and useful way.

How to Get This Course?

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Meet Your Teacher

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Deborah A Adele
Deborah Adele, MA, ERYT500, has made the yamas and niyamas household words with her ground-breaking book... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this course in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This course is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Course completion.
No prerequisites are required; this course is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the course is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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