In the simplest of terms, yoga is like a tree comprised of eight limbs. Each one of these limbs represents a different level of the practice. The yamas and niyamas comprise the first and second limbs respectively and are ethical precepts that apply to how one relates to oneself and to society. By the most essential definition, the yamas are restraints while the niyamas are observances.
In a nutshell, the niyamas are as listed below :
Shaucha – Purity
Santosha – Contentment
Tapas – Burning Enthusiasm
Swadhyaya – Self-Study
Ishvarapranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual
Easy enough then. Practice all of these things and you’re good to go.
Well, not really. It’s been said that practice makes perfect. But whoever said that was delusional and possibly cruel, as perfection is an illusion and cannot be achieved.