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Q:        What does Niyama mean?

A:         Niyama (नियम) literally means positive duties or observances. In Indian Yoga tradition, Niyamas are recommended activities and habits for healthy living, spiritual enlightenment and a liberated state of existence.
Niyama is the 2nd of the 8 limbs of yoga, and encompasses the rules or laws that a yogi would observe personally.  Niyamas are broken down into 5 areas that touch on all aspects of living including eating a clean diet, purifying the mind of toxic thoughts and emotions, using asana (physical yoga poses) and pranayama (breathing) for mental and emotional well-being, finding contentment with what we have, cultivating self-awareness, and acknowledging there are forces larger than ourselves at work in the universe. The simplest meaning of Niyama is “good habits”. 

Q:        Are Niyama products only for people who do yoga?
A:         Absolutely not!  Although Niyama was inspired by yoga, our products are completely suitable for anyone looking for top quality natural health supplements made with clean, plant-based ingredients to support wellness and active living.   Approximately half of Niyama’s loyal consumers actually do yoga.  Others use our products to help with reducing stress or inflammation, improving sleep, or just adding more high-quality protein to their diets.  Many use our After Practice and Green Energy before, during, or after gym visits, HIIT workouts, SPIN, running, cycling, as well as for daily nourishment.
Q:        What about Niyama products make them so good for yoga?
A:         Niyama was created by a passionate yogi and natural health geek, who also happens to have 20+ years of experience in the vitamins and natural health supplements field.  Niyama was inspired by yoga in two main ways:

  1. Values –Niyama takes into consideration several values that many yogis share. Niyama is Vegan & Plant-based. While not all yogis are vegan or even vegetarian, yogis do tend to be twice as likely as the general population to be vegan, vegetarian or simply trying to follow a mostly plant-based diet. We made Niyama  plant-based and vegan-friendly so all yogis could enjoy it.  This also aligns with the yogic value of ahimsa – or doing no harm.   Yogis also lean in more to healthy habits than the general population, and are more careful about what they consume, Niyama is free of gluten and soy, and we don’t allow any sugar, or artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners or preservatives in our products.  We hold ourselves to the values of honesty and transparency, and list every single ingredient on our label so you know exactly what you are getting. As well, we are made in Canada – which isn’t really a yogic value but a Canadian brand and company, we are so grateful to be Canadian that we want to support other Canadian business as much as possible throughout our value chain.
  2. Functionality – Niyama’s founder Jillian was fortunate to spend her corporate career in an industry that she loves (natural health supplements) and that is very much a part of the way she and her family live their lives. Jillian believes natural health supplements, along with a clean, predominantly whole food diet, and a healthy dose of movement are essential for living well in today’s fast-paced world.  And there are many amazing products out there to choose from.  But even with all these choices, Jillian found that she was mixing and matching single ingredient products to try to come up with the perfect combinations to support the nutritional needs of a strong yoga practice, and to try to extend some of the benefits like reduced stress and better sleep into her off-mat life.  It was complicated, not to mention time consuming and expensive.  So, after leaving her Executive role as VP Marketing & Innovation in 2017, Jillian set out to create a line of products that would be effective, easy to understand, and wherever possible, enjoyable to take. 
Here’s how that looks by product:
  • Vinyasa Forever Joint Care – a natural anti-inflammatory in a capsule that features both Turmeric and Boswellia to help reduce inflammation in the body and particularly in the joints. Works proactively to reduce the risk of developing joint pain, and to help manage and reduce existing join pain and osteoarthritis.  Because while yoga is lower impact that running or heavy weight lifting, it can still contribute to wear and tear on our joints and lead to repetitive strain injuries.  A daily supplement of natural anti-inflammatory plant medicine can go a long way to reducing current and future inflammation – so yogis can stay on our mats.
  • Green Energy Pre-Vinyasa Energizer – an alkalinizing, antioxidant -rich pre-workout that is 100% caffeine and stimulant -free. Zero sugar, zero calories, zero artificial sweeteners.  Full of plant nutrients to naturally energize at the cellular level, Green Energy also contains 4 vegan sourced amino acids that will help increase endurance and stamina – so even your toughest classes feel easier and you have more energy to finish strong.  Green Energy fans say their practice feels lighter, flowy-er and more energized, but without the revved up, jittery feeling that comes from coffee or traditional pre-workout supplements.  So, you can actually quiet your mind and focus on aligning your movement with your breath.  Never heavy, always delicious – the perfect yoga-friendly pre-workout to get you on your mat and keep you coming back.
  • After Practice Replenish & Repair – our founder Jillian has always enjoyed vinyasa-style and hot yoga – forms of yoga that really build heat, work up a sweat and rid the body of toxins, while providing a great workout. She liked to add electrolytes to her post-practice water to help r rehydrate and aid in muscle recovery. Traditional sports drinks like Powerade or Gatorade contained too much of what she didn’t want – sugar and artificial ingredients. The vitamin and electrolyte packets sold in some studios worked well but she didn’t really feel she needed an extra multivitamin in with the electrolytes. She loved coconut water but didn’t like the 25-40g of sugar they usually contained, and they didn’t offer a full spectrum of all 6 electrolytes lost during sweating.  And lastly, she wanted something that also provided some amino acids – for enhanced immune and muscle support.  After Practice is like a combination electrolyte rehydrator and amino acid supplement with extra vitamin C that kind of tastes like pineapple coconut water.  But it has zero sugar, zero calories, zero artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours.  Perfect in your post-practice water, or in your water bottle that you take into hot yoga.  Your water becomes so much wetter and incredibly refreshing.
  • Organic Plant Protein - this was one of the most challenging Niyama products to create. Plant protein is notoriously NOT delicious.  There is often a bitter taste imparted by the protein source, and the texture of many plant proteins makes it unpleasant to consume regularly.  Sort of like liquid cardboard.  Niyama’s protein is much different.  The texture is light and smooth, the powder is milled so finely that it blends easily with water or plant milk in a shaker bottle.  And it actually tastes good even with just water!  Delicious in smoothies and in baking, it is incredibly versatile. 

After Practice Replenish & Repair

Q:        What does this product do?
A:         After Practice was designed to help replace and rebalance electrolytes after exercise, AND support muscle recovery and immune function.
Q;        Is it only for after a workout or yoga class?
A:         It is wonderfully refreshing after any type of exercise, but it is also a fantastic intra-workout drink.  Because it contains electrolytes, it is also beneficial when you are dehydrated, on hot summer days, to help replenish after gastric upset (vomiting or diarrhea), or while traveling.
Q;        Why are there aminos and electrolytes in it?
A:         Both electrolytes and aminos will aid in muscle recovery, making it more efficient and helping reduce next day soreness. But the amino acid L-glutamine also has amazing gut health properties, and since the majority of our immune system resides in the gut, it helps to replenish the immune system, which gets taxed during strenuous exercise.  We’ve also added vitamin C for immune health, as well as select trace minerals and powdered coconut water.
Q:        I mixed After Practice in a glass with a spoon but it didn’t all dissolve. Is it ok to take?
A:         Absolutely.  The amino acid L-leucine is a bit resistant to dissolving completely, as is the powdered coconut water.  If you keep stirring it will dissolve, but the easiest way to use it is to shake it up in a glass or stainless-steel water bottle
Q;        What is the sweetener?
A:         A combination of two natural, plant-based zero calorie sweeteners: Monk fruit with a tiny bit of Stevia.  Most people tell us they can’t taste the stevia.  The monk fruit tends to soften it.
Q:        I have purchased this product in the past but it tastes a bit different this time. Is it ok?
A:         Yes.  At Niyama we only use natural flavours and sweeteners, so growing conditions and crops play a big role in how the flavours come across from one batch to the next.  With artificial flavours and sweeteners you can get the exact same flavour profile every time, but with natural ingredients there are always variations.  Our team works with each lot, trying to blend these premium natural ingredients carefully to match our approved taste profile – which is also impacted by some of the plant ingredients which can also vary in the intensity of natural colour and flavour they provide.  It is a bit of an art, and minor variations are to be expected. 
Q:        How many calories are in each serving?
A:         Zero calories and zero sugar.
Q:        How does it taste?
A;         Light and refreshing, not too sweet. It has been compared to a less sweet pina colada with a watery mouthfeel, or pineapple coconut water, but without the aftertaste that sometimes comes with coconut water. You can also adjust the taste/sweetness by adding more or less water.
Q:        I hate coconut. Will I like this product?
A:         Probably not – sorry!

Daytime Zen Stress Support

Q:        What does this product do?
A:         Daytime Zen is designed to help manage symptoms of stress and anxiety, so that you are better able to function in times of stress.  It is calming without being sedating and helps with feelings of panic or being overwhelmed. It will also relieve stress-related fatigue so that your energy levels are more consistent throughout the day, and you feel less exhausted.  It also help improve memory and mental focus.
Q:        When should I take this?       
A:         We recommend taking this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If it helps you to remember, keep the bottle beside your bed and take 1 capsule with water as soon as you wake up, before you even get out of bed.  We do not recommend taking it in the afternoon as you may not feel sleepy at bedtime.  You won’t feel “stimulated” but you may not feel tired enough to sleep.
Q:        Can I take it every day?
A:         Yes
Q:        I take a prescription for anxiety/depression. Can I take Daytime Zen?
A:         No, you should not combine this with any prescription anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications.  If you are coming off prescription medication for anxiety or depression, you may be able to transition to Daytime Zen, but you need to consult with your healthcare practitioner. 

Green Energy Pre-Vinyasa Energizer

Q:        What does this product do?
A:         Green Energy is a caffeine and stimulant-free pre-workout drink mix with alkalinizing greens, that helps provide energy and focus, without stimulating the central nervous system and making you feel “reved up” or jittery. 
Q:        How does it give me energy without any caffeine?
A:         Green Energy contains plant extracts and vegan-sourced aminos that help support stamina and endurance, at the cellular level.  Your muscles won’t feel as fatigued while you are working out, and you will have more energy left at the end of your class or workout.  But you won’t feel like your heart is racing or experience the jitters, like with caffeine. You also won’t have the “crash” that comes with stimulants as they leave your system. 
Q:        Can I take it if I am not going to workout?
A:         Yes, it isn’t like a traditional caffeine-based pre-workout that you really need to “work off” once you consume it.  Some consumers use it first thing in the morning as their “daily tonic” as they enjoy the greens and anti-oxidants in the formula. Other’s use it as a mid-afternoon pick-me up instead of turning to coffee.
Q:        What is the sweetener?
A:         A combination of two natural, plant-based zero calorie sweeteners: Monk fruit with a tiny bit of Stevia.  Most people tell us they can’t taste the stevia.  The monk fruit tends to soften it.
Q:        How many calories are in each serving?
A:         Zero calories and zero sugar.
Q:        Can I use Green Energy while I am intermittent fasting?
A:         Yes – because there is no sugar or calories you can use this without breaking your fast.
Q:        Last time I bought Green Energy the powder was quite pink, this time it is more greenish. What changed?
A:         All Niyama products are free from artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners.  We also don’t add colour to our products, letting the natural plant extracts be the colour they are.  Green Energy, in particular, can vary in appearance fairly significantly from batch to batch; ranging from quite pink in appearance to light khaki green, with some pink flecks. The two main contributors to the colour of this product in its powder form are the wheat grass, which can be very green to much less green, and the beetroot extract, which can be intensely reddish purple to less pigmented. It is the combination of these two ingredients that mainly impact the powder colour.  However, when you mix it with water the colour will stay in the red family, ranging from deeper brownish greenish red, to a deeper pinkish red.  Rest assured it is the same combination of ingredients and nutrients, but its appearance will vary from batch to batch.
Q:        I have purchased this product in the past but it tastes a bit different this time. Is it ok?
A:         Yes.  At Niyama we only use natural flavours and sweeteners, so growing conditions and crops play a big role in how the flavours come across from one batch to the next.  With artificial flavours and sweeteners, you can get the exact same flavour profile every time, but with natural ingredients there are always variations.  Our team works with each lot, trying to blend these premium natural ingredients carefully to match our approved taste profile – which is also impacted by some of the plant ingredients which can also vary in the intensity of natural colour and flavour they provide.  It is a bit of an art, and minor variations are to be expected. 

Organic Plant Protein

Q:        What is the protein source?
A:         Niyama’s Plant Protein is sourced from 100% organic pea protein. 
Q:        Did you consider using a blend of plant proteins?
A: Yes, we looked at blending several sources with organic pea including brown rice, hemp, coconut.  Brown rice can sometimes have heavy metal traces so we ruled that one out early on.  We love the nutritional profile delivered by hemp and coconut (additional good fats and fibre) but really wanted to make Niyama’s plant protein taste really good, not just “good for plant protein”.  We believe the best protein powder is the one you actually use each day.  And our organic pea protein source delivered a super clean nutrient profile and a mild, pleasing taste with great mouthfeel.
Q:        Why is it so smooth and not chalky?
A:         Our pea protein isolate is milled into an exceptionally fine powder – to the consistency of baking flour or icing sugar.  When you open the container, you can see just how fluffy it is.  So, it mixes beautifully without any gritty texture.
Q:        Will it cause stomach issues?  I sometimes get gas/bloating from pea protein.
A:         To date we are thrilled to say that we have had zero reports of any gas, bloating or stomach upset after taking Niyama’s plant protein.  Even with people who have experienced issues with other pea-based proteins in the past.  We don’t have science to support this, but there is a theory that many of the digestive issues associated with pea protein are usually with non-organic sources.  Yellow split peas are a heavily sprayed crop when grown conventionally, and we don’t know the levels of glyphosate (chemical pesticide) that remain in non-organic pea proteins, but they do tend to be hard on the digestive system and not easily tolerated.  However, if you have an allergy to pea protein we obviously do not recommend you try Niyama’s plant protein.
Q:        What is the sweetener?
A:         Our original formula is/was sweetened with stevia and only came in natural vanilla flavour.  We will be introducing a new stevia-free version in summer of 2020 that is sweetened with monk fruit, and that will also come in Chocolate.  The pricing is higher on the new formula as a result of the large cost differences inherent in working with monk fruit over stevia. Monk fruit is significantly more expensive and you need to use more.

Sleep Like Buddha

Q:        Why is there no melatonin in Sleep Like Buddha?
A:         Melatonin is a wonderful supplement, and is something our bodies product naturally in our pineal gland to help regulate our sleep/wake cycle.  It’s role in regulating circadian rhythm is why it is so often recommended for jet lag or shift workers. Melatonin in itself may not help you fall asleep during times of stress though, and many people don’t tolerate it well, experiencing morning grogginess, vivid nightmares, headaches.  There is also a wide variation on the amount needed for benefit by those that do use it successfully – from as little as 1mg to 10mg.  When we created Sleep Like Buddha our objective was to help support better sleep for those experiencing stress-related sleep issues.  Our founder Jillian, has struggled with stress-related insomnia on and off for much of her adult life, and the ingredients in Sleep Like Buddha are the ones that have allowed her to return to regular, restful sleep over the years.
Q:        How long will this product take to work?
A:         That will depend a lot on the individual.  Many have had great success on the first night, while for others it has taken a week of taking it every night to experience full benefit.  Most people will notice a significant difference after the third night, and then even more benefit with ongoing use. Even if you do not experience a good sleep on night one, we recommend you take it for a full week consecutively before you decide if it is right for you.
Q:        When should I take it?
A:         30-60 minutes before you want to go to sleep.
Q:        I take prescription sleeping pills, can I take this with them?
A:         No.
Q:        I am taking a prescription anti-anxiety/depressant. Can I take Sleep Like Buddha?
A:         No.
Q:        Do I have to continue taking Sleep Like Buddha once I start sleeping better again?
A:         That is up to you.  Some are able to use it for a month and then are sleeping well on their own.  Our bodies are pretty amazing and we can “reset” our sleep to healthy sleep patterns.  If you are sleeping well without it, by all means stop taking it.  And if your sleep issues come back, because, well life happens, Sleep Like Buddha will be there for you.
Q:        I have terrible insomnia.  What else can I do besides take Sleep Like Buddha?
A:         Difficulty sleeping at night can also be caused by stress during the day. Better sleep at night leads to better days, and less daytime stress will lead to better sleep at night.  Sleep Like Buddha works well with Daytime Zen Stress Support – our adrenal support formula.  Taking 1-2 Sleep Like Buddha before bed, and 1 Daytime Zen in the morning as soon as you wake up will help support reduce stress and support your adrenals and sleep function.  We also recommend practicing good sleep hygiene.  Our formulas are very effective, but you also need to develop healthy bedtime habits for optimal benefit. Check out our blog: Sleep Tips from a Yogi, Natural Health Geek and Recovered Insomniac

Vinyasa Forever Joint Care

Q:        Will this upset my stomach?
A:         It shouldn’t, but we do recommend taking it with a meal, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.
Q:        How long will it take to work?
A:         Usually some relief is noticed within 2-3 weeks, sometimes sooner.
Q:        Can I take more than one capsule?
A:         It is very safe.  Many consumers with pre-existing joint pain or inflammation take 2-3 capsules daily to start, and then taper off as they get relief. If you are taking as a preventative, 1 capsule is likely fine.
Q:        Is it ok to take with blood thinning medication?
A:         While Health Canada does not mandate a warning on pack to that effect, it is always good to ask your health care practitioner about combining with existing medications.



Q:        Does Niyama use sustainable packaging?
Yes.  Niyama uses PET bottles and jars because it is the most recyclable form of plastic available, and is accepted for recycling everywhere, in all regions.  It also provides excellent light protection for the ingredients in our formula, as well as a strong moisture barrier, both of which are vital for ensuring the shelf life of natural supplements.  We often get asked about compostable packaging, and while we very much hope that the technology evolves to that, compostable packaging currently doesn't' offer stability for natural health products as its ability to break down and compost does not allow it to stand up to air and moisture in a way that would guarantee potency and safety of the nutrients inside.  But please know that this is an area we are passionate about, and are constantly looking at.  When even more sustainable options become available that still offer the protection our products need we will be excited to pursue it with urgency.

Q:        Are Niyama products refillable?

A:        The short answer is no.  While it would be lovely to be able to offer a refill service like is now available for many natural products such as lotions, laundry care and even shampoo, this is not an option for Natural Health Supplements (NHPs). Natural Health Supplements in Canada are regulated by the NNHPD (Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate), which is a division of Health Canada. To be sold in Canada, all NHPs (Natural Health Products) must carry an NPN number on the front panel of the label, indicating they have been pre-approved for sale to Canadian consumers prior to sale, as well as the correct claims, directions and safety precautions and contraindications.  

You can read more about this here:

But basically, Health Canada looks at all your ingredients, the quantities, combinations and the site licence of your manufacturing plant (which has to undergo its own approval system which is very stringent and difficult) to ensure that you are not making false or exaggerated claims, or using ingredients that are unsafe or without scientific validation or safety data, and that you ar manufacturing under strictly safe and regulated conditions.  In addition to carrying an NPN number and correct label info, each NHP must also carry the lot number of the batch, and the expiry date.  Part of this is to ensure consumers consume supplements prior to their best before date, but the other function is to ensure that if there ever is an problem with a product (negative reaction or need for a recall) it can be traced to the lot number and communicated and executed properly, to ensure safety of Canadian consumers.  NHPs fall under the same regulatory body in Canada as other non-prescription or OTC medication - like Advil or Tylenol, or Contact Lens solution or eye drops to put it in context.  

Canada is known globally for having one of the best, safest systems for natural health products in the world.  We jump through a lot of hoops and it is not easy, but in the end as a consumer too, I’m glad we have the system we do. Our system is somewhat different from the USA where there is no pre-market approval required and supplements fall under Food regulations. 

Which brings me to refillable containers  - this is not something that Health Canada would approve for this category of products because there is no way to ensure 100% that the product is totally safe, and that the consumable health product isn’t compromised if we were to reuse and refill bottles.  All products have to be filled in a GMP manufacturing plant that has been approved by Health Canada.  Refilling would not be feasible, in that doing it anywhere except for a licensed facility would not guarantee that filling occurred under sanitary conditions to guarantee the product was uncontaminated.  And stamped with the correct lot/expiry info.  Currently, collection of used bottles and getting them all back to the same manufacturing plant, sterilized, and relabeled with a new Lot # and Expiry is not feasible and would likely be less sustainable than recycling them, when the entire carbon footprint is taken into account.  




Photo credit @JoannaWojewoda