Following my initial successes practicing yoga daily and becoming mindful about my consumption, I had been feeling the most confident and happy in years in the fall of 2007. But it all kind of fell apart in December and January: I was still doing yoga asanas and pranayama every morning started regularly feeling angry and upset, gained 10 lbs, and got sick for the first time in over a year.
Part of this was situational stress caused by a private medical issue in my family. But I noticed something else: I had stopped focusing on pracicing the yamas and niyamas. Once I started that practice again, my mood and my health drastically improved.
So this was a simple experiment that taught be that simply doing pranayama and asana is not enough to make me healthy and happy. I absolutely have to work on nonviolence, compassion, continence and moderation as well – all of the yamas and niyamas.