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According to the classical hierarchy of the eight limbs of yoga, yama and niyama encompass the initial two stages of the yogic path. Yoga asana is the third step and students of the past wouldn’t have even begun an asana practice until they’d fully considered the yama and niyama.

Many who find their way to a modern yoga studio have already asked the questions and investigated these habits, though in different guises and alternative vocabulary. They’re also often subjects undertaken by yoga students who are moving from casual practitioners into more serious study. Your own introduction to these tenets of yoga might just be this very blog post.

The yogic path begins with a consideration and practice of the yamas, which give guidance on relating to others while in the world:

Ahimsa // non violence
Satya // truthfulness
Asteya // non stealing, integrity
Brahmacharya // right relationship to your vitality
Aparigraha // non grasping

Then, the niyamas focus solely on the individual in relationship with themselves:

Saucha // the body is a temple
Santosa // contentment
Tapas // self discipline
Svadhyaya // self study
Ishvarapranidhana // letting go of the ego

We are interdependent creatures, and the study and practice of the yamas is helpful as we navigate this busy world with its myriad of interpersonal dynamics. Consider the first yama of nonviolence. At first glance it’s fairly straightforward: Don’t be violent. Seems easy enough, right? But this directive could take an entire lifetime to integrate if more subtle variations are considered. Our words to or about others can cause harm, we can expose ourselves to violent situations or media, or we can be punishing towards ourselves. Backing off a posture when you feel your body isn’t ready for it that day could be considered practicing non violence.

The niyamas are guides for balancing what will be the longest and most complicated relationship of your life: the one you develop with yourself. Since it seems like things between you two are going to be serious, it’s best to really nurture this particular romance. The first niyama asks us to treat the body as a temple, which aligns pretty well with the caricature of the Yogi of a Million Dietary Restrictions. Which is fine, that’s a great way to understand this ethical code. But if that interpretation doesn’t speak to you, you might regard it as being considerate of what you put into your body and mind. It’s a way of showing care and reverence for your body and your Self.

The yamas and niyamas as moral and ethical codes assist us in our search for authenticity and well being. Consider them an invitation to bring Yoga fully into your life off the mat and outside of the studio.


New Logo Reveal & Upcoming Events

Dear SGY Yogis...soon to be Wild Lights!

Each of us in this community is a unique, wild light, and we have made it our mission as a teaching staff to see this and cultivate it through deep practice and connection.  Our tagline Root, Rise, and Shine reflects that sense of groundedness that the studio provides all of us.  So many of you have spoken or written about this to us, and it has left an indelible mark on our identity.  Together we are ushering in a new era in which we transition beyond removing obstacles to the limitless beauty that opens up when those obstacles are removed...to the wild lights they reveal.

We are hard at work on our new website for Wild Light Yoga Center and we hope to have it completed by the end of November, at which time our name change will become official.  In the meantime, it gives me great joy to unveil our new logo, created by our very own teacher, professor, and graphic artist extraordinaire, Michael Salter:


This logo represents so many beautiful things about our studio. We are each part of the roots of our community and together we create the lotus that captures each of our wild lights.  Our tagline, Root, Rise, and Shine is also reflected here.  The lotus is a historic symbol of transformation as well.  We've often heard how the lotus is seeded in murky, muddy waters and it's brilliant blooms are a gorgeous contrast to the environment in which they are birthed.  Each of us has our own murky waters, representing our own uncried tears, self-doubt, unexpressed longing, experiences of shame, heartbreak and tragedy.  This is what it means to be human.  These experiences make us who we are, and they make our lotus flower blossom that much more brilliantly.  Even when we find ourselves caught in our own darkness, we are pulled toward the light, where we may shine wildly and radiantly, inviting others to shine with us.  Many thanks to Salter for capturing who we are in this beautiful image.

With love,


Candlelight Meditation with Michele Bulgatz
Friday, November 10th, 8-9pm
All Levels, No Experience Necessay

Join veteran teacher and yogi Michele for an inward journey to the great Self in the abode of the heart. Your true nature as embodied consciousness is so much more than we experience at the surface of awareness. As Sally Kempton states in her book, Meditation for the Love of it, “Meditation is the basis for all inner work. It is the direct, naked encounter with our own Awareness that shifts our understanding of who we are and gives us the power to stand firmly at the center of our being. No one else can make this happen for us. Meditation does.”  Candlelight Meditation will create the conditions for this encounter with the deep Self.

We will prepare the body with some gentle movements, learn to take a *supportive seat, and practice pranayama, mudra and mantra as gateways to the sublime territory of the inner Self.  Seated meditation will be followed by savasana to integrate our meditation experience.

You cannot do this wrong. You are already alright.

*ability to Sit on the floor is not required, you may sit on a chair.

Unlocking Bandhas Workshop with Julie and Karanbanda workshop (480x640)
Saturday, November 11th, 1:15-3:15pm

$25/$20 SGY Diamond Members

Bandhas are "energy seals" in the body that channel the flow of energy and pressure, allowing for more functional support and sense of ease in many yoga practices. Join Julie and Karan for an experiential workshop where you will work with the physical access of bandhas and relate that to our understanding of these practices energetically in the subtle body. If you can access bandhas, your practice will come from the inside out and be more energetic in nature. Come to increase your understanding, awareness and use of bandhas to help you deepen your practice.