Yamas, Niyamas, & The Correlating Chakras Adventure into the heart of Classical Yoga, with a modern day twist.

Adventure into the heart of Classical Yoga (Aṣṭāṅga yoga), with a modern day twist.

Journey beyond aesthetics into a space where any ‘body’ can practice no matter what shape, size, religion, or circumstance.

Over ten classes and ten weeks, with Tanaya as your guide, we dive heart first into the first two limbs of Aṣṭāṅga yoga, the Yamas & Niyamas. Each class offering a guided flow of Hatha yoga inspired movement amidst a musical soundscape, encompassing the most ancient system of subtle energy - the Chakras.

Classical Yoga, sometimes referred to as Raja Yoga or the ‘Royal Yoga’ refers to the eight-limbed path of yoga as documented by Indian sage Maharishi Patanjali over two thousand years ago. The path of Aṣṭāṅga encompasses yoga posture and breath practice (the third and fourth limbs of the eight) but begins with the practice of Yama and Niyama.

In his book Light On Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar put it like this..

“Without firm foundations a house cannot stand. Without the practice of the principles of Yama and Niyama, which lay down firm foundations for building character, there cannot be an integrated personality. Practice of asanas without the backing of Yama and Niyama is mere acrobatics.”

Simply put, the Yamas & Niyamas are a set of ten yogi precepts - comparative to the Christian & Jewish Ten Commandments, or the Ten Virtues of Buddhism. They offer a map written to guide us on life's journey. They represent yoga's ethical practice, and offer a powerful and effective set of tools that can be utilised on and off the mat.

The Yamas are a set of social ethics which teach us about the power of restraint, while the Niyamas are a set of personal ethics or self-observances that can assist us in fulfilling our greatest potential.

These ten jewels, if understood and practiced, may well be the most rewarding adventure we ever embark upon: Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non-Stealing, Moderation, Non-Possessiveness, Purity & Cleanliness, Contentment, Self-Discipline, Self-Study and Surrender; the secret ingredients to a well-rounded practice, and a bountiful life.

The chakras are energy centres that run the length of our spine, connecting with different aspects and elements of our body and being.

As each Yama and Niyama carries its own intention and energy, each one bares a special connection to one or more of the chakras. In this ten class series we explore some of those connections, delving into the heart of yoga philosophy amidst a flow of chakra specific yoga postures.

In developing an understanding of what each chakra represents, combined with the teachings of yama and niyama, blockages can be cleared, and our life-force energy revitalised. We feel more balanced, equanimous, and in general more at one with ourselves and the world around us. Our lives begin to flow, and we begin to flow more in our lives, regardless of our circumstances.

For the keen yogi, particularly if a postural practice is the primary focus, it is helpful to note that in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, there are sixteen sutras (II:30-45) devoted to yama and niyama, and only three on asana, making the first two limbs the most highly revered aspect of the entire text. In this light, we could say that without at least a willingness to understand and work with these principles, our practice becomes one dimensional.

This ten week class series is offered in a present-day context for relevance, and easy access to age-old wisdom. Each class is a self-contained journey and concludes with a guided relaxation on the theme for the day.

The Yamas, Niyamas, & the Correlating Chakras class series provides participants with a dynamic yoga toolbox that can be used on the mat, as well as in every aspect of life. Suitable for the absolute beginner to the well practiced yogi, this class series is recommended for anyone seeking a more holistic yoga practice, and evolved understanding of yoga, beyond the yoga postures.

Join Tanaya for the next ten class series, or on a class-to-class basis. Check out the course and class schedule here.

Can't find a class that suits? Get your very own copy of the Rock Your Chakras, Roll Your Yamas Card Deck here, and practice in the comfort of your own home!