March 8, 2011

There can be no yoga without TAPAS

As human beings, we are constantly involved in an activity that can affect our lives in two basic ways: it can either reinforce our conditioning or serve as the ground for positive change.

Within each of us lies the potential to reduce and ultimately to eliminate undesirable characteristics, dysfunctional patterns, and impurities from our systems.

TAPAS: Purification. The fire of disciplined practice destroys impurities and leads to the mastery of the body and the senses. The means by which we purify and transform ourselves.

In depriving ourselves of something to which we are habituated we resist acting on our habitual patterns and this resistance creates an internal heat that purifies, strengthens and transforms us. In order to get rid of something undesirable in our systems we must break patterns. We strengthen ourselves in order to break the cycle of habitual and addictive behavior that keeps us enslaved.

Stop anything you do mindlessly.
Dietary restriction: become aware of nourishment we take for granted, recognize our reliance on food for emotional well-being and as a source of entertainment.
-Recognize how we are slaves to our habits and addictions.
- Take note of things while generally attractive to us are nonetheless harmful to some dimension of ourselves.

TAPAS requires discipline and enthusiasm. It is using your will to overcome your conditioning.
Discipline is actually a path to happiness.
all of the above is a summary from Yoga for Transformation by Gary Kraftsow. Chapter 2 Transformation Through Practice, Part I Tapas: The Purifying Heat.

Another Lenten option for the next forty days: 40 days of yoga with Baron Baptiste

 "Why forty days? Because the number 40 holds tremendous spiritual significance in the realm of transformation. Jesus wandered the desert for forty days. Moses and his people traveled through the desert for forty years. Noah sailed his ark for forty days and forty nights. According to the Kabbalah it takes forty days to ingrain any new way of being into our system, and that is what we are aiming to do here: wipe out he old and welcome the new." and let's not forget Buddha sat meditating under his tree for forty days.

1 comment:

Charlotte Gillett Barnes said...

love me a tub, mirror, marble with a window.