We moved our usual Saturday power Yoga class from 4:30pm to 10:00am. There was a great group of yogis that attended. I absolutely love power classes and the depth, intensity and mental focus that they require. In having some fun on a rainy, overcast Saturday morning, we transformed the studio into a kitchen (sort of, ha!). With the normal 76-80 degree temperature in the studio plus a good number of bodies, it was as warm as an oven letting us “cook.” There are lots of fun metaphors when equating the Yoga asanas to the art of cooking. Students were encouraged to think on their favorite meal as they were preparing it. Allowing the heat to produce something elegant, filled with nourishment and tasty. The end product is worth the journey.
Now that cooking didn’t just extend to the physical body. The fire may consume the physical body, but it brings a new depth to cleansing the mind. Take a moment to read our meditation below. Thanks and have a great day!
Tapas: Self Discipline
Tapas literally means “heat,” and can be translated as catharsis, austerities, self-discipline, spiritual effort, change, tolerance, or transformation. Tapas has the sense of “cooking” ourselves in the fire of discipline to transform ourselves into something else. It is our determined effort to become someone of character and strength. Much like cooking an egg denatures the egg, changing it into a different structure, Tapas eventually changes our nature, turning us into a cauldron that can withstand any of life’s challenges. Tapas is the day to day choice to burn non-supportive habits of the body and mind, choosing to forsake momentary pleasures for present and future rewards.
There is a bumper sticker which states, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” We can chuckle all we want, but there is great truth to this statement. Tapas can take us to the place where all of our resources are used up, where there is nothing left but weakness, where all of our so-called “props” have been taken away. It is in this barren place, where we have exhausted all that we have and all that we are, that new strength is shaped and character is born if we choose to fearlessly open ourselves to the experience. It is perhaps the greatest gift life could offer us.
Book – “The Yamas and Niyamas” by Deborah Adele