May Theme Of The Month

This Month we are using 2 Themes: Yama and Niyama

1st Theme: Yama

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali gives us five recommendations, called yamas. The five yamas ask practitioners to avoid violence, lying, stealing, wasting energy, and possessiveness. This month, we are using the first Yama Satya.

Satya (truthfulness)

Satya is truthfulness, but it's more than just telling the truth. The word ‘sat’ literally translates as ‘true essence’ or ‘unchangeable’. Our thoughts, emotions and moods are interchangeable, yet these are the things that create our own truth. In yoga, we work on creating a little space so that we can realise that we are not just our thoughts.

Satya can be linked to our practice of being in integrity. Integrity is defined as the state of being whole and undivided. Practising integrity is a way to allow us access to Satya.

In yoga practice, it means being honest in our words and actions with ourselves and those around us. To incorporate Satya into your own life and practice, start with the pose.

2nd Theme: Niyama

The Niyamas are the second limb of the 'Eight Limbs of Yoga' from the ancient Indian sage Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. The Niyamas refer to duties directed towards ourselves - inner observances. They are intended to help us build character. When we work with the Niyamas, we're guided from the grossest aspects of ourselves to the truth deep within.

Svadhyaya (self-study)

The term Svadhyaya literally means ‘one’s own reading’ or ‘self-study’. It is the fourth Niyama of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and has the potential to deepen our yoga practice way beyond the mat. The word itself is made up of Sva, meaning own, self, or the human soul, and Adhyaya meaning lesson, lecture, or reading, and can imply the practice of studying scriptures, as well as a practice of studying the Self.

We can also link Svadhaya to the practice of self Inquiry and/or self-care. There can be no real inquiry without Satya (truthfulness) The practice of self-inquiry is being of service to self and by extension to others in our community. Self-inquiry is the constant attention to the inner awareness. Paying attention to the inner self then allows you to make decisions that then nurture your inner being and in practice create self-care.

Teaching Tips

  • Have your words match your actions e.g Be at the class at the time you said you would be at the class, 6 wheel poses means 6 wheel poses, Start and end the class on time
  • Practice self-care before, during and after practice. Clear your mind and your practice area. Adjust and assist while seeking to empower not to fix. Clean up after practice, be curious about the practice
  • Be willing to listen and consider feedback to use it for growth and be willing to share feedback.
  • Use Art and Mastery in your classes. Look, listen and give tools
  • Being a yes to your own and the student’s physical ability, acknowledge beginners, intermediate and advanced students in your class. Practice and acknowledge what alignment looks like in different bodies
  • Awareness doesn’t mean reaction, though. You don’t need to push these thoughts away, just recognize them. Observe as they come into your consciousness, and then watch as they again leave.
  • Call on students and your own practice with compassion when they might injure or do harm to themselves in your yoga sessions
  • Take time to care for your mental, physical, spiritual and overall wellbeing


Africa Yoga Project delivers global wellbeing in and from Africa. We practice and teach Yoga with a deep conviction that the potential to change the world lives in each of us. Our bodies and minds must be connected in order to create lasting change. We deliver tools to bring wellbeing to the world, one body at a time.

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