Octoyoga: Tapas


Today I will talk about Tapas. Not the kind you eat in Spain with your chilled one, quite a different kind. 

In Yoga we have 8 limbs - Asana (postures) is only one of them, crazy right? 

One of the limbs is the Niyamas which means positive duties or observances. There are five Niyamas, though I won't go into them all today. The one we will focus on is Tapas. 

The word Tapas is derived from the root 'tap' in Sanskrit which means to burn - fire, heat and purification. 

Tapas is mentioned in the Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Sutra 2:1 - "Accepting pain as help for purification, study and surrender to the supreme being constitute Yoga in practice"

As you can see here there is the word purification which coincides with burn, however here we are talking about pain. Can't be good right? Well according to Patanjali even though it may seem far fetched, anything that happens - no matter how painful - can be used for spiritual growth

We are asked here to embrace pain as a friend, or more like a teacher. For example, when we experience pain we have arrived at a limitation, here we can expose the limitation and work with it. To embark knowingly on a path that may bring discomfort and challenge before producing the benefits. 

With the more physical aspect of Yoga, Asana, pranayama and meditation we can translate all of this into discipline. You know that your bed is super comfortable and it's calling you to stay, but you discipline yourself to get out of the comfort and onto your mat, knowing that even though it's maybe not what you are drawn to doing first thing in the morning, that it will make you feel great, it will have short and long lasting benefits. 

So when you wake up tomorrow, just think for a moment. Should I practice or stay in bed for an extra while, or should I wake up 10 minutes earlier to meditate and breathe, or should I go to that class even though I'm tired after work? Sometimes it's hard but you know in the end that it will produce benefits. 

Ignite that fire, create that discipline and then watch the goodness flourish

Lots of love, 

Abi x 

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Abi Ponce Hardy is a Scottish-Mexican Yoga Teacher, Life Coach and Photographer, currently living in Tulum, Mexico. After struggling with mental health issues for many years she discovered yoga and it changed many aspects of her life, allowing herself to get in touch with her body, mind and spiritual side. She strives to create space for people to do the same, helping them find hidden parts of themselves so that they can move on to greater happiness and life choices. 
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