Third Yoga Niyama

Yogi’s Guide to Tapas – The Third Yoga Niyama

Third Yoga Niyama – The modern-day world has become a breeding ground for all types of mental and physical ailments. Be it depression, anxiety, stress, or plain laziness, health problems are the new norm.

If you want to get free from these and enjoy a healthy life, the ancient art of yoga has something to offer.

Tapas – The 3rd Yogic Niyama

In the yogic tradition, Tapas is the bridge that links your will to the appropriate action. But, you should understand that Tapas is way different from other yoga niyamas.

Want to know more? Keep reading to understand everything about this yogic niyama.

It is the Result of Action

Tapas is never the act, neither it is the quality of the act. It is the result of that act. Yoga professionals have come up with a simple example to help you understand.

You wake up every day at 6 A.M. But, waking up is not an act of self-discipline. In fact, there is no such thing as self-discipline. What you call a self-disciplining act is an action that teaches you this virtue. The 200 YTT can help you learn more about this yoga niyama.

The literal translation of the word is Heat. You perform activities that generate heat. For example, running can generate physical Tapas. But, the act of running is not heated but it helps generate heat.

Yoga and Tapas

In yogic practice, you can inculcate the niyama of Tapas in the form of mental or physical exercise. These can include meditation or the many yoga asanas that help generate internal heat. Tapas is an integral part of the Ashtanga yoga style.

Let us now understand the deeper meaning of Tapas.

Tapas – The Deeper Meaning

There are several meanings of Tapas in the context of yoga including self-discipline, meditation, and other means of self-purification.

On a physical level, your body generates heat through friction or resistance. You use physical and mental conditioning to push against natural resistance of the body and mind. In the long run, this resistance helps generate inner heat.

But, It is not just about the physical workouts. Strict observance of lifestyle, diet, physical and mental habits are a form of Tapas.

Do you know about the 3 types of Tapas? Yoga experts have come up with a complete explanation.

Types of Tapas

The 3 Tapas depend on the intention or the three Gunas of the yoga practitioner.

1. Sattvic Tapas

Sattvic Tapas is possible only when you follow the ideals of Yama. In this Third Yoga Niyama, you do not aspire or want anything. Your only desire is to attain unity with the universal consciousness. The main focus here is to help you develop mental and physical well-being.

2. Rajasic Tapas

In the case of Rajasic Tapas, there is an ulterior motive. Practising Rajasic Tapas means you want the mental and physical faculties to achieve something. This can be nasty and you can do this for the greater good. Join the 500 RYT to learn this type of Tapas.

3. Tamasic Tapas

This is not an ideal version of Tapas. Tamasic Tapas has self-harm as its foundational principle. In this you push the body and mind to practice activities that harm you. Join a certified yoga school to learn and practice this Tapas under the guidance of experienced yoga teachers.

There are a couple of interesting facts you should know about this yogic niyama.

Interesting Facts About Tapas

Given below are a few interesting facts you should know about Tapas.

  • For you to practice Tapas, an inherent desire to keep the body clean is must.
  • A healthy diet and proper sleep are important for you to keep body and mind pure.
  • Tapas can involve striving for a mental, spiritual, or physical goal.
  • Tapas stresses on moderation and purity in actions, bodily intake, and senses.
  • Two common methods of practicing Tapas include fasting or cleansing.

Doing Tapas especially if you are a beginner requires proper guidance. You should enrol in a certified yoga school to learn this Third Yoga Niyama.


Do you want to unlock your true potential and get rid of all negativity? Give the information above a good read to understand the yogic niyama of Tapas. You can also enrol in the 200 YTT to learn and practice this yogic principle under the guidance of experienced yoga teachers.

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