Ah, Tapas. It's the heat and fire of the path toward your best version of yourself. Third of the Niyamas (our individual evolution toward harmony), Tapas is where you dial it up a notch. Practicing self-discipline in order to achieve a personal goal is a part of what Tapas is all about. It's often full of discomfort and the heat of a challenge in the moment but leads us to a better place and a feeling of peace over time.
When your self discipline butts heads with your desires, that's when the fire of Tapas heats up and goes into action.
Take for example quitting an unhealthy habit. If you've ever quit smoking or drinking alcohol (or soda) or adopted a healthy diet, you know what I'm talking about. The first days and weeks are often HELL. Your body and mind resist the change, and you might be seen as a fire-breathing dragon by those nearest and dearest to you. However, over time, if you stick with it, the constant heat of the challenge mellows as your body and mind accept the newer, better pattern that you've chosen. In the end, you might even wonder how you ever had been a smoker or had lived with such such a terrible diet or drank whatever it was that you gave up.
It is then that the heat of the Tapas subsides and takes you deeper into Santosha (contentment and peace). The magic of it all is that you choose. If you are like me, then you are a master in the art of justification. One more chocolate? I'll find a reason that it is warranted. Half a glass more of wine? Well.....of course! But when I actually am honest with myself, then I need to recognize the beauty of the struggle and let it play out without giving in so easily.
What's your Tapas fire telling you? Is it the struggle of getting out of bed and to the gym to achieve the peace of body and mind that you know is waiting for you at the end of the workout? Is there a habit that you know will compromise your health eventually that you keep putting off quitting? Maybe it's staying stuck in a situation that is making you miserable, but the thought of making the change is exhausting and frightening. I don't know what yours is, but I do know that we all have something.
How about this: You do you, and I'll do me. And we will promise to reach out for help if we need someone to assist in keeping the fires in check. Deal? You've got this. We are here for you.
Yoga for Tapas:
Feel the Burn at first. Then Feel the Pride in noticing the burn being replaced with STRENGTH! Try this one daily (or as close to daily as you can manage.....) for two to three weeks. I bet you will experience a noticeable change. As always, if something hurts, then back off. Begin in Tadasana, Mountain Pose.
1. Forward Fold - Exhale Belly to Thighs
2. Halfway Lift - Inhale long spine, thigh bones back, shoulders away from ears
3. Forward Fold - Exhale
4. Step back into Downward Facing Dog for 10 complete breaths
5. Come forward to Plank for 3 slow and complete breaths (Wrists directly underneath shoulders)
6. Roll to Side Plank - Keeps hips lifted and stack the feet or lift the top leg. Hold for 5 slow and complete breaths
7. Come back to Plank for 3 slow and complete breaths
8. Roll to other Side Plank - See #6
7. Back to Plank for 3 slow and complete breaths
8. Push back into Downward Facing Dog for 10 complete breaths
9. Step or Hop to Forward Fold - Exhale
10. Rise to stand with a flat back - Tadasana
Repeat one more time. Feel the Burn? Savor your Strength (or the knowledge that strength will come)
Changes are happening at Sankulpa Yoga. I'm releasing and taking in as I work to find the best fit for my evolving yoga lifestyle business. I've suspended some classes that have been under represented in an attempt to make time for some other things. I hated to let them go, but it was necessary.
Yoga and Aromatherapy Workshop - Coming in February. 90 minutes of yoga combined with essential oils, a little oil-to-go gift, and 15% off a Young Living Essential Oils Order. Keep your eye on Facebook and this website for more details, but drop me a line if you are interested, and I'll make sure to give you first dibs to register.
Yoga and Reiki Workshops and (eventually) Weekend Retreats - In the works now in collaboration with my fellow yoga teacher and friend Sally. We are working on this and are really excited to share it soon! Again, shout out if you want to be one of the first to be in the know.
Yoga in Schools Workshop: The game is ON for marketing my Yoga in Schools Workshop to promote mindfulness and yoga practice in the classroom to give students a toolbox of coping and living skills. If you or your school wants to know more, let me know, and I will share with you.
Pre-School Yoga - Looking to Grow: Do you own or work at a pre-school? I'm looking to expand my Pre-School Yoga program to a few more sites. Please let me know if you would like to know more or if you have a good spot in mind for me.
Yoga in the Park: Spring will come! When the weather is ready for us, we will return to taking our practice outdoors. I'm planning one weeknight and possibly one morning Yoga in the Park classes beginning in May.
That's it for now. Enjoy a week of sweet challenges.