top of page

Niyama (Limb 2)





śauca-santoṣa-tapaḥ-svādhyāyeśvara-praṇidhānāni niyamāḥ


śauca = purity

santoṣa = contentment

tapaḥ = austerity, penance, self-challenge, unconservatism 

svādhyāya = (literally) ‘self-study’, self-determination

Īśvara = the Lord, Sovereignty  

praṇidhānāni = to place in front of, devotion to

niyamāḥ = observances

The five observances are purity and  contentment in the practice of self-challenge, self-determination, and devotion to Sovereignty. 

(YS II.32)

Translation by Dr. Shyam Ranganathan. All Rights Reserved.

The second limb concerns the commitment to the basic practice of Yoga as outlined in the start of book II of the Yoga Sūtra. This is the three part practice of challenging ourselves (unconservatism), self-governance and devotion to Sovereignty (the ideal of persons that is unconservative and self-governing). But with this limb, we commit to engaging in that with satisfaction and purely, that is without mixing Yoga with other incompatible commitments. 

To learn more about the Limbs of Yoga directly concerned with the practice of Yoga, join Yoga Philosophy's entry level course designed for students of Yoga: Five Limbs: Yoga Sūtra  Essentials for Practice.


bottom of page