The five niyamas are listed as follows:
- Saucha: purification, cleanliness, and clarity of mind, communication, and physical body. This recognizes that the yogi’s external environment affects his/her inner purity. Practices such as meditation can help to cultivate the cleanliness of the mind specified by saucha.
- Santosha: contentment and acceptance of the world, oneself and circumstances exactly as they are. This means letting go of cravings for what one doesn’t have. Doing this is said to end one’s suffering.
- Tapas: asceticism or intense self-discipline and willpower, even through discomfort. This recognizes the need to sometimes do what is difficult or unpleasant in order to have a positive effect on one’s life and existence.
- Svadhyaha: study of the self, and the practice of self-reflection. This may include using the scriptures or sacred texts as a tool for introspection. It means seeing who one is in the moment as well as exploring one’s connection with the Divine.
- Ishvara Pranidhana: surrender to and contemplation of the Divine or Supreme Being. This includes dedicating and devoting one’s work to a higher power and dissolving ego-focused desires.