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Positive duties. Observances. The 5 Niyamas are internal practices (read: Recommended activities) and habits for daily living, enlightenment and feeling zen
Here are the 5 Niyamas and how to apply them, beautiful:
1. Purity: This is all about living clean – whether its the food we eat, the thoughts we think, the people we surround ourself with, the music and media we consume and our environment. The belief here is that everything we surround ourself affects us. If we surround ourselves with beauty and goodness we will be lighter more gracious beings
2. Contentment (Santosha)
“It’s not having what you want, but loving what you got.” Sheryl Crow said it best! Contentment is all about living in gratitude – not focusing on possessions and the awareness that happiness through materialism is only temporary.
3. Tapas (persistent meditation, perseverance)
The niyama of tapas is all about self-discipline and will power! Doing something we don’t want to do but that we know will have a very positive effect on our life : going to the gym when we’re tired, making that healthy salad when its easier to just get takeout, saving the money instead of spending it on the new dress – you get the point. The tapas or fire energy that is built up during disciplined actions is strong spiritual energy that is believe to burn up karma and impurities.
4. Self reflection (self study)
You are a divine being. When you dive into getting to know yourself on a deep level you start to see your truth self revealed : light, love and deep with wisdom: spend time alone, journal, take a few minutes to look at yourself in the mirror and deep into your eyes. You are divine
5. Devotion (Contemplation/surrender)
The last niyama is all about surrender to the divine. A higher power – the universe – whatever you want to call it. This niyama is all about being selfless and devoted to something outside of yourself.
You can practice this niyama by: dedicating you yoga practice to someone else, letting go of a “desired result”, and letting situations unfold instead of forcing direction.
As spiritual beings having a human experience, we are all born with the gift of intuition; it is our birthright. As babies and young children, we are accepting of our intuitive abilities, recognizing our “sixth sense” to be just as common and matter of fact as our five physical senses. It isn’t until we start to grow up and out of our soul, knowing and identifying more with this world and our mind-thinking, that we lose touch with this innate power.
For many of us, returning to this state is simply a matter of unlearning these limiting mind thoughts and beliefs around our intuitive abilities. We must come back into our higher self’s knowing that we have access to divine knowing and insight at all times. While only some of us are able to be psychic and intuitively dialed in for others, such as myself, ALL OF US have the potential to do so for ourselves. No one is more connected to you, your higher guidance and spirits than you are!
What I have found over the years in cultivating and strengthening my own intuitive abilities, is that I’ve had to constantly address my head/heart conflict. Often times what my head is telling me conflicts with what my heart feels to be true. I used to struggle with which one to listen to and obey. Every time I followed my head, it got me into trouble or made things a lot harder than they needed to be. Whenever I listened to and honored the guidance in my heart and soul, however, I was validated with answers, solutions, and outcomes that unfolded with grace and ease. It doesn’t mean the path was always easy or care-free, but it always resulted in me becoming wiser, stronger, and braver as a result of having followed my heart.
My Spirit Guides have taught me that what it really comes down to is getting out of our heads and into our hearts. Our “monkey minds,” as the Buddhist refer to it, create endless thoughts, opinions and judgments that often times are based in fear and come from our egos. This cuts us off from our intuitive guidance and knowing, which is based in truth and love.
The heart’s guidance, on the other hand, is simple, direct, and there’s no need for a lot of words. Our feelings are our best guidance, which stem from our heart center.
A simple way to put it is this: the mind projects, while the heart directs. With that in mind, make it a point to retrain your brain into letting go of any and all fear-based thinking, surrendering these lower self thoughts to God and your Guides. Then, simply tune into your heart, checking in with your feelings, and paying attention to what these emotions are telling you in the moment. As you honor and follow the guidance in your heart, you will feel empowered and connected to a higher energy directing and acting as a guiding light in your life. You will walk in wholeness and complete alignment with your highest potential and highest guidance, thus creating endless opportunities to live and be your highest and best self!
Rebecca Rosen is an internationally renowned best-selling author, spiritual medium, teacher and inspirational speaker. You can follow Rebecca along on her journey of changing peoples lives, on her newest show, The Last Goodbye on LMN.