‘Among the eight limbs, the first two limbs, yama and Niyama, are often neglected by the practitioner. However, every practitioner must remember that first and foremost, yogic practice is built on these two pillars. Yama (restraints) and Niyama (observances) make the sadhaka (practitioner) physically, mentally, morally and spiritually fit to continue Yoga practice …
… Niyama involves the practices of saucha (cleanliness), santosa (contentment), tapas (austere practice), svadhyaya (study of spiritual scriptures, self-study), and Ishvara pranidhana (surrender to the Lord). Practice of Yoga that neglects these restraints and observances becomes an irreligious, irrational, immoral, and fruitless practice. Unfortunately, a human being is by nature caught in a web of moods, emotions, and instincts. He is violent, aggressive, quarrelsome, ferocious, intolerant’.Iyengar Geeta, The practice of Niyama
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Alan’s Introduction to Yama and Niyama.