Tapas- Austerity, discipline, lighting your own inner fire.
This has been an interesting time for me, I chose to write about the Yama's
and Niyama's over the period of one year, little did I know that within a day of
doing so my life would completely change. I wrote my first post on the
subject and within an hour my life completely turned around. Being a wife and a mother, a business owner, with a part time job working 12 hours a week teaching yoga and managing yoga classes for the local YMCA was my old life and within a few days everything changed. My husband and I split up, I'm still a momma but now I am a single mom, my business if flourishing but I am much more reliant on others and have hired more help, and I took on
more work at the YMCA working 28 plus hours a week.
So you may be thinking "I thought this was about discipline or tapas, why is
she rambling on about her life?" Well because that is how we all relate, from
our own personal viewpoint. This divorce has made me be in the moment
and adopt a new sense of trust in the things I cannot see, the give and take,
God, the energy of action and reaction. My personal practice of asana is not
as strong as I would like and often I only get 20 minutes or so at a time. My
physical body is weak from stress and my stamina is lacking. My practice of
pranayama or my breathing is more of a tool that a practice right now,
I literally live Ujjayi breathing, I am victory breath.I often catch myself
breathing loudly around others to relax or simply to keep myself calm.
My focus on the Yama's and Niyama's is stronger than ever but is constantly
at a point of complete perplexity: how does one follow that feeling of
contentment when your kids are hurting and you are hurting? How does one
follow a place of non grasping when you feel like your whole world is slipping
threw your fingers. Well you just do. You just trust, you self talk, you talk to
friends, I pray, I tell myself "Today you are okay, and likely tomorrow you will
be okay." Most of my 41 years God, the universe, has taken care of me and
my children and I continue to trust in that.
My discipline with my practice has not been a fire I have had to try to light,
because I have needed it so badly the past seven months. I have needed to
focus on the now, on the moment, on the philosophies and on my own
internal health and wellbeing while being conscious of the fact that I still teach others and guide others and I want to be the honest/ authentic teacher they need.
Below you will see what I thought was an excellent definition of Tapas: and below that I have included ways I have incorporated that fire in my life.
"Discipline is having enough respect for yourself to make choices that truly
nourish your well-being and provide opportunities for expansive growth. Far
from being a kind of medicinal punishment, tapas allows us to direct our
energy toward a fulfilled life of meaning and one that is exciting and
1. Get enough sleep. I try to get 7 to 8 hours a night, and if I
am tired I rest.
2. Accept that everything does not have to get done now.
Make a list and prioritize. Make good use of your energy.
3. Eat very healthy. Everyday I try to make sure I'm eating
veggies, fruit, yogurt, grains, nuts, and healthy low fat
meals. If I am eating out I try to make a wise choice and
eat a small meal or only half of my meal.
4. Watch consumption of alcohol and sweets. I do enjoy a
glass of wine or a drink occasionally but I limit myself to
only once in while and no more than two. It never fails
that I feel terrible the next day no matter if I only have
one. Sweets are the same. I feel just awful when I have
them. This is something that I believe when we
develop self awareness we are more in tune with how the
food we eat makes us feel.
5. Spend time with people you love and who love you back.
6. Be in nature. The past six months I have been out in
nature a ton, taking lots of country drives, sitting on the
porch, and taking long walks with no music just the
sounds of the world.
7. Listen to your heart. I am a social person, however lately I
just don't feel like being very social. Before this life
change I organized large events, went to art galleries,
music events, and more, lately I just don't have that
desire. It's almost like it's to much stimulation and I am in
a place that I don't want to talk about the divorce, and
often I find myself not knowing what to say. So I honor
that and I stay back and nourish myself with time with one
or two people, reading, watching movies, or spending
time with my kids.
Love and Light,