Guest Contributors Learn & Explore Philosophy

Our North Star: Introducing Stephanie Snyder’s latest course, Yamas and Niyamas

How am I doing in the world with all of its chaos and beauty?

Am I actively engaged in a life that reflects yogic values?

Do I even really understand what those are?

These are questions I began to ask myself early in my career as a yoga practitioner. And then later as a teacher, I wondered how I could share yoga philosophy in a way that was both accurate and accessible. I have spent 20 years working over the yoga philosophy as a practitioner, teacher, mother, friend, daughter, business leader—you get the idea. It is a rich and fruitful practice that has enhanced my life in ways I could never imagine when I first stepped onto a yoga mat.

And nothing has supported me from the beginning of my inquiry to now the way the yamas and niyamas have; this is why I offer them in every teacher training, through workshops all over the world, and now here on Glo. They are simple, direct, and highly effective tools of accountability that have become my North Star and litmus test when I’m confused about what to do in any situation.

These 5 yamas and 5 niyamas are introduced in the Yoga Sutras, a text written over 1500 years ago by Patanjali that is considered an authority on yoga as a system, practice, and philosophy. They outline golden rules of compassion, honesty, acceptance, restraint, generosity, clarity, gratitude, effort, insight, and faith. These are all big concepts that can easily be glossed over but I’ve learned that if I’m seriously invested in my yoga practice and in taking ownership over my own suffering, these principles must be worked with rigor and dedication over a long period of time. The best part is that they continue to reveal more, deepen my understanding, and provide support as I grow and mature. They are like the Mona Lisa—wherever I am in my life, they are right there with me and at the ready to lend insight and answers. And they are endlessly generous in this way.

I have developed a specific practice over the years to work specifically with these ethics in my own life and I’m so excited to share this with you. This system of practice (or sadhana) isolates each principle one by one and creates an incubator for deep application, investigation, and accountability. For my online course I have provided detailed notes, lectures, meditations, yoga practices, and daily homework assignments on each yama and niyama that will help you remain engaged and accountable to this work in a way that may be revealing, fascinating, and best of all, empowering and liberating. I could not be more devoted to this practice because—it works! And by works I mean it has changed my life for the better again and again. I wish everyone everywhere could step into the work and free themselves, and I’m so grateful to be able to offer it to you here. Begin now, do not delay your freedom and happiness for one more day.

If you’d like to explore how the yamas and niyamas can create positive change in your own life, please join me in my online course on Glo:

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