Tapas is a Sanskrit work for “heat”, and it refers to the heat we build in our bodies through our practice. It also refers to the self discipline that is fueled by our desire and our passion to practice.
As New Yorkers, we are great at this. We are FULL of passion and full of purpose. Every time we leave the house we have somewhere to go and something to do.
As we build self discipline in our yoga practice we can begin to take that self discipline off the matt to our every day lives, and begin to guide that passion to it’s highest potential.
We can begin to build self discipline in our practice by maintaining integrity in our poses. Integrity does not mean pride or ego, it is the absence of these two. The definition of integrity is “complete” or “whole” and we can begin to feel whole and complete in each pose if we treat each pose like it is the first pose we’ve done all day, or the last pose we’ll get to do. Forget what pose you just did or how it went, forgot what pose is going to come next. Just focus on now. Build integrity by treating your first like your last, and your last like your first.
Lastly, we strengthen our self discipline by being kind to ourselves. For giving ourselves credit for coming to the mat each day; by sending ourselves love and compassion. This is hard work, we sweat and we gruel each class and we keep coming back week after week, day after day. Acknowledge your efforts, don’t let them go unnoticed.
Be kind, be in the moment, be passionate, and build that heat.
Inspired by my first ever dharma talk at my first ever Yoga Vida class last week.