Photo Credit: Amarha58 Flickr
Fire is transformative. As a bolt of lightning, it has the power to turn sand into glass. As the sun, it has the power to bring life through it’s warmth, and illuminate the darkness with its light. As passion, and dedication to yoga practice, fire has the power to transform the body, mind and soul.
In Sanskrit the root of the word tapas is “tap”, meaning to heat, burn, purify. In yoga, Tapas is one of the Niyamas, or observances of self-control, in the Yoga Sutras that refers to an austerity or strict discipline of practice. Tapas is the burning zeal in practice that comes from the desire to purify the body and seek spiritual enlightenment. A desire to transform.
For most yogis, this fiery passion for practice begins with asana or yoga as a physical practice. And for many, it stops there. For me, yoga as a physical practice led to an insatiable hunger to know more, to know myself, to connect with my inner light.Now, that passion has transformed to a way of life. Despite my desire to sleep in that extra hour before work or skip meditation, my desire to know and to grow outweighs my excuses. And, there isn’t much that can keep me from the commitment I’ve made to my myself. It took a while to get here, though, and everyday, I face challenges to which I can either rise or fall. On the days I fall, I try to examine and learn from it, and get back to my practice the next day.
What I have found throughout this journey, is that transformation takes on many forms, and not all of it is always pleasant. There’s an element of some aspect of ourselves dying so that we can give birth to a new reality — one that is founded upon our longing to evolve. Each exhale is a small death, but each inhale is a breath of new life. But, the evolution is the living, the journey, and what we learn from it brings an end to our suffering.
Burning zeal in practice, self-study and study of scriptures, and surrender to God are the acts of yoga.
—B. K. S. Iyengar
The only person we really bring suffering to when we become lax in care for our minds, bodies and souls is ourselves. Light a fire under your Asana, ignite your passion for your personal practice and transform.
– Your Charmed Yogi