|“…the conscious effort to achieve ultimate union with the divine and to burn up all desires which stand in the way of this goal. A worthy aim makes life illumined, pure and divine. Without such an aim, action and prayer have no value. Life without tapas, is like a heart without love.”
-B.K.S. IyengarWhat drives you? What do you want to achieve? Tapas is the third Niyama (daily practice) ascribed in the Yoga Sutras. Tapas translates as “burning zeal” in practice. This fiery determination is at the heart of yoga.
Many of us practice tapas already, whether it’s giving something up for Lent; fasting for Yom Kippur or Ramadan; entering into a detox; cultivating a daily yoga and meditation practice; saving money to buy something- tapas is the fire that burns away at the distractions and desires that stand in the way of achieving our goals.
In the yogic sense, tapas is the work that we do towards the goal of spiritual enlightenment- it is the practice of bringing the yamas (ethical practices) and niyamas in our daily lives.
All these things, whether it’s entering into a more conscious diet; becoming more compassionate towards yourself and all living beings; saving money or practicing truth and non-stealing, start as thoughts. These thoughts need to be turned into action in order to make our intentions a reality. This action is tapas!
This month, we invite you to joyfully and willing challenge the limits of your commitment and discover your inner strength (maybe even indulge in your own 30 day asana or meditation or pranayama challenge! Or a yummy watermelon juice cleanse once a week!). As you set your goals and move with “burning zeal” towards them, we invite to do so with love, compassion and non-attachment.
We look forward to seeing you soon on your mat!