Episode 3:

Yama and niyama as an ethical framework

with Anna Ferguson Robas

Mado and Anna have a conversation about how to make ethics from the yamas and niyamas a part of your daily yoga practice.

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Episode Highlights


  • Ethics are the foundation of a stable & consistent yoga practice.
  • Reframing Ethics:
      • Reframing the Yamas/Niyamas can lead to deeper understanding.
      • Yamas/Niyamas are key to mental health.
      • Ethical frameworks bring empowerment.
  • Ethics of Yoga over a Lifetime of Practice:
      • Our understanding and application of ethics changes over time.
      • Deepening our understand of ethics can guide us through uncertain times.
      • The practice of welcoming states of confusion as opportunities can be very helpful in moving through them.
        • “Grow through what we go through.”
      • A clear understanding of ethics is the key to opening the door to greater happiness through clear comprehension
  • Compassion is Key:
    • Compassion practice is Ahimsa, or non-violence.
    • As we grow, we can suffer from harsh self-criticism and criticism from and for others.
    • Self Compassion and Compassion towards others are equally as important as you begin the practice of yoga.
    • As we begin to practice, we integrate all the parts of ourselves, and a strong guiding framework is key to lead us through the times we lose our way.

Personal Reflection Questions:

  • How do I practice ethical standards in my life?
  • How has ethics played a role in my teaching so far?
  • Do I consciously practice compassion in my life?

Links and Resources

Anna’s website
Refresher overview of the yamas and niyamas
Download of Anna’s compassion meditation.
Tara Brach
David Foster Wallace ‘This is Water’

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