30 day Yama/Niyama challenge



Every day I come across some type of 30 day “yoga” challenge. Either they are a challenge to practice asana each day, or accomplish a pose in that time frame. One lady even wanted to try to do the splits (Hanumanasana) in 30 days. After about day 15 she stopped posting altogether. I wonder if her hamstrings gave out. People even have asana competitions where they are judged on their postures. I felt I wanted to propose a harder challenge–a yama/niyama competition!

Here are the rules:

1) Can you go 30 days without causing physical or mental harm to anyone?

2) Can you go 30 days by telling the complete truth no matter what?

3) Can you go 30 days without stealing anything?

4) Can you go 30 days of regarding others as human beings instead of male/female bodies?

5) Can you go 30 days free from greed?

6) Can you go 30 days being clean, not only physically but mentally?

7) Can you go 30 days being content with what you have, and not buying anything new outside of what you need?

8) Can you go 30 days of fervid adherence to these principles?

9) Can you go 30 days studying ancient yoga texts and then seeing how your practice fits into these texts?

10) Can you go 30 days of completely surrendering yourself to this practice no matter what the outcomes?

Which ones are easy and which ones bring up issues for you? In classical yoga, the above is what is asked of you for your whole lifespan. It is very challenging even for a day. I am not saying I am anywhere near close to achieving these on any given day. But to aspire to do these for 30 days will bring about profound positive change in your life much more than trying to do Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. It will be much more difficult than Eka Pada Rajakapotasna too.



Have fun!



15 thoughts on “30 day Yama/Niyama challenge

  1. Aparna

    When does this challenge start? October 1st? Love this challenge – looking forward to it. I will probably fail (especially #8, #9, and #6 heh) but shall try regardless! I think it’d be really nice to track our progress somehow…


    1. yogibattle Post author

      Hi Aparna! There is no start date. The aim of this post is to educate people about the yamas and niyamas which seem to have been largely ignored in Western yoga. I am glad you are up for the challenge. Even if you “fail” at least you have gained awareness in your problematic areas. Those are the areas where suffering sprouts its seed.


    1. yogibattle Post author

      Thanks Keri! I posted this as a tongue and cheek response to the ubiquitous #30 day asana challenges on WordPress. But now I am taking it somewhat seriously. If you do the challenge, post on your blog what changes come about. It would be interesting to see. 🙂 Challenge starts today.


  2. Pingback: Grand champions of the Yama/Niyama competition | Home Yoga Practice

  3. Aparna

    Reblogged this on Peace Off the Mat and commented:
    We all get into yoga from a physical standpoint and begin to enjoy it for the way it makes our bodies feel. However, once you get to understand yoga more – you realize how it’s a lot more about something else than being able to twist yourself into a certain pose. A fellow blogger buddy is starting this challenge that targets the mental aspects of a yoga practice! I thought I would share it with you my dear followers! Hope you like it and try it out. *P.S – more posts coming this week from me – I am working on taking good pictures for you all!*


  4. Sophie

    Hi Michael, I read your post re-blogged by Aparna from Peace Off the Mat. Thanks so much for posting this challenge. It’s easy to get caught up in the asana challenges and forget about the rest. And yes, I confirm your challenge is harder than Eka Pada Rajakapotasana!!! THANK YOU!



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