Self-Study Anuśāsana: The Wisdom of the Yamas and Niyamas

In this course, we explore the fundamentals of self-discipline through the yamas and niyamas of the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali. In addition to the most common interpretations of the yamas and niyamas, we delve into their subtleties through practical examples, homework, and contemplations. No matter what one's spiritual path (or no path at all!), this course will be useful. 

Yamas are ethical injunctions and niyamas are virtues. In the Yoga Sūtras, the yamas and niyamas are the basis of the eight-fold path. The cultivation of yamas and niyamas continues as one progresses on the spiritual journey, becoming increasingly subtle and refined. They become the basis for the cultivation of moment-to-moment awareness and enable the correct application of spiritual concepts in the mundane events of life.  

While being critically important, the yamas and niyamas also lend themselves to becoming externally enforced values that trap us in ignorance. In this course, we will explore the five yamas and the five niyamas from a very practical standpoint while remaining faithful to their true essence. Importantly, we will delve into the many layers of self-deception that prevent the dawning of higher knowledge.

This is an exploration into the yamas and niyamas unlike any other!

This is a self-study course and includes handouts, and homework exercises. 

While there are no absolute pre-requisites for this course, although the following would be useful as a background: 

1. A reading of Shakti Rising (Chinnaiyan K, Nonduality Press, 2017).

2. Shakti Rising Self-Study Course.

3. Śivoham: Cultivating Awareness and Insight.

The Shakti Rising Self-Study Course and the Śivoham Course are available at a 50% discount for those enrolling for the current course (links will be provided upon enrollment).

No refunds will be issued once purchased. Thank you for your understanding.

Course Logistics:



$129 (25% off for Svatantra Saṅgha members)


This course truly is unlike any other. Not only is this valuable it has given a deeper understanding of the teachings which for many is needed more than before. I not only feel connected by culture but by choice and spirit. This has motivated me to always remember that by connecting to such profound wisdom I can understand the true meaning of the self. These teachings are truly eternal and by attending such courses allows me to always have a changing experience and continue this as I continue to grow in these teachings. Thank you Kavithaji.

Where to begin? When the course description said it would be transformative, I admit I had my doubts, but it was indeed! Starting by identifying my energy leaks was huge, and something I had actually begun working on just days before. The pairings of the yamas and niyamas were superb, and overall everything was presented to me in an entirely new way. When I studied the yamas and niyamas previously (with other teachers), they seemed applicable, but only to a certain extent in the context in which they were presented. Kavithaji’s presentation made them so easily accessible, and with practical application to modern life. This course completely changed my view and outlook on these guiding principles and opened my eyes to multiple interpretations of the yamas and niyamas. I’ll have to ruminate over and digest all of the content presented here for quite some time. There were instances when I felt overwhelmed, confused, guilty, and other emotions, but Kavithaji made it clear that all of this is okay and part of the journey of this path. There are many more questions that will come up in time, I’m sure. Thank you so much for offering this course. It truly was and will continue to be transformative.

It will add to my daily practice of cultivating awareness using yamas (and niyamas) as a ‘new’ tool.

What a blessing! I’ve been studying most major psychotherapeutic approaches, from psychoanalysis, to CBT/DBT and third waves therapies and, talking about asteya (hopefully unconscious), it’s funny to see how every single useful ingredient of these so-called modern approaches was already found in this infinite well of wisdom. Kavithaji brings such a level of clarity and applicability while unpacking these sutras that It may represent one of the most profound accomplishments for humanity. Let’s rejoice for the virtuous! I’ve already had the chance to practice these concepts during 2 emotionally charged meetings at the end of the week. For the most part, I’ve remained focused on the situation instead of the persons (and all the karmic bonds we created), and kept my energy for what’s truly important: inner peace and contentment. Everyone involved walked out in a better mood as well, with pragmatic potential solutions.

I am a ticking time bomb of contemplations now 🙂 Not only due to this course but from all the other Svatantra Sangha learnings and homework as well. So much so that I was watching a Harry Potter movie with my family. In the midst of a climactic scene, I had such a strong insight, I stood up and spent a few minutes journaling. It’s that kind of crazy going on here 🙂 and I am enjoying the wild ride!

It has helped me gain a much deeper understanding of the yamas and niyamas and how they are all connected.

It has already impacted my day to day interactions by bringing awareness to the many, many energy leaks. I will be going back to these lessons again and again to continue to bring awareness and change.


Scholarships are available on an as-needed basis. Please apply here.

Continuing Education for Yoga Teachers

Our courses, both live and self-study, can be used towards Yoga Alliance Continuing Education requirements for all RYTs already registered with Yoga Alliance. Go here for how to upload your hours. 

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