The second excercise to be practised daily under Ashtang yoga, is Niyam. This comprises of five parts: 1) Purification ( Shauch) 2) Contentment ( Santosh) 3) Stoic austerity (Tapa) 4) Regular study of Vedas ( Swadhyaya) with deep introspection 5) Intense devotion to God ( Ishwar Pranidhana)
1) Purification of the body is external and internal. Anatomically, the body consists of skin, blood,flesh, bones ,marrow, urine and faecal matter. This unholy bag is constantly throwing out filth. Therefore a daily cleansing is required to keep it healthy. Mind purification is subtler. Devotion to truth, noble thoughts, a cheerful temperament, developing concentration, sense control and an earnest desire to realise the truth, purifies the mind.
2) Contentment in life is true wealth. A contented person is freed from the beggary of want, discontentment is misery.
3) Stoicism is not torturing the body , but rising above likes and dislikes. ‘Tapam ‘ is equipoised forbearance, in all dualities of life, eg. Heat/Cold.
4)Deep study and introspection, schooling your thoughts into elevated channels thereby perfecting yourself.
5) Devotion deep and grateful, towards the Lord, who is an unseen and unrecognised giver of all your needs, health, air, water and food, nay, life itself!
Asanas (postures) is the third principle of Ashtang Yoga. Sitting in any comfortable position, with the spine ,neck and head erect and in a straight line, is called Asana. Sitting on an even surface, cushiony, but firm seat, in a secluded ,quiet place, fresh air and free of insects and other disturbances . Today’s popular Yoga is listed as a set of 84 -asanas that improve the agility,strength and health of the physical body. Prarthna Saran, President Delhi Chinmaya Mission.