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When most people hear the word Yoga, they think of bendy body movements, meditation and maybe some breathing practices. However, there are two other limbs of Yoga which you may not be aware of… unless you have studied Yoga in-depth. These are a set of ethical precepts called the Yamas (translated as restraints) and Niyamas (translated as observances). Indeed, if we learn to implement their teachings, they can help us to live a healthier lifestyle.

I like to think of these precepts simply as follows:

Firstly, the Yamas, are things which may bring unpleasantness into your life if you do them. Therefore, you want to avoid them and cultivate their opposite. These include:


Excessive Behavior



Secondly, the Niyamas, are practices that you may want to bring into your life to feel more balanced and these include:

Good Practices

Purity or Cleanliness
Accept Support From a Higher Source

In addition, you can find more information and guidance about the Yamas & Niyamas in my document below:

An excerpt from Yoga as a Lifestyle Practice after a Diabetes Diagnosis by Denyse LeFever:

“Two different teachers made the Yamas and Niyamas more meaningful to me. Nischala Joy Devi, in her book The Secret Power of Yoga, presents a more positive translation than those done previously by male Sanskrit scholars. She describes these practices as “ways you live your life, not something you learn.” More recently, Kristine Kaoverii Weber, in her online course The Yoga & Neuroscience Connection, drives home the wisdom of these ethical tenets as it applies to resilience. From their teachings, I describe how each of these principles helped me better understand how to manage my diabetes.”

Be sure to also check out the meditation practices based on the Yamas & Niyamas on YogaVista.TV. Above all, try incorporating these teachings into your life!

May your life be meaningful and fulfilled,
Denyse LeFever

Related Video Series


Yamas and Niyamas – Meditation Series with Sharon

Enjoy these beautiful guided meditations. They shine a light on the Yogic principles of the yamas (social restraints) and niyamas (self-disciplines).

Sharon Cavanagh Guided Meditations

Note: The videos series is included in various YogaVista.TV subscription plans.

CREDITS: Author, Denyse LeFever, Certified Yoga Therapist

Editor, Maria Perez, Certified Yoga & Group Fitness Instructor