When I sat down to write this article, I came across a case of writer’s block. I was caught up in conflicting ideas, invasive deadlines, style decisions, research rabbit holes, and my own inner critic. The core of the piece was buried somewhere in the mixture. I tried to clear my agenda to concentrate. I sat at my desk. Nothing.
Feeling frustrated, I realized that one of my online teachers was offering an asana class to increase the heat. Although the clock was ticking on this project, I decided to sign up. For an hour, I held postures, took a deep breath, and sweated. The knots melted from my physical body and my thinking mind. When I sat down again to write after practice, ideas flowed more freely than in weeks.
The effort I put into my mat is an example Tapah o Covers: The productive heat that helps cleanse your consciousness, clears your body and mind, and moves you toward your goals. For me, Tapas illuminates yoga as a true union: the purifying heat unites my will and my lack of will, reopens an unlimited flow through finite challenges and reminds me that serenity can exist with l ‘effort and practice.
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Heat as purification
The use of high heat for purification is an old practice. Since the Middle Ages, molten gold has been refined on a hot flame, a process known as cupellation. Impurities in the ore are burned by high temperatures, resulting in a noble metal, one that is pure, strong and impermeable to corrosion.
Cultivating the heat in your life, whether physically or metaphorically, offers a similar kind of purification. In Sanskrit, there are several words for different types of heat and spiritual and physical fire. For example, texes it is considered healing heat in your body. Agni it is a rising flame that gives off heat and light, and it is also the energy of ascending consciousness. Tapas, one of the niyamas (observations) In the eight limbs of yoga, it is often defined as a burning heat for discipline, purification, and the dissolution of obstacles.
Sometimes our negative thinking patterns, difficult circumstances, or even self-imposed stagnation prevent us from being in touch with our individual spirit and the realm of pure consciousness. Generating Tapas purifies your mind and body, allows you to reconnect with your pure inner nature and helps you remove obstacles in your path.
Covers in practice
According to Swami Satchidananda ‘s translation of the Patanjali Yoga Sutra, you can cultivate Tapas physically, mentally and verbally through pranayama, fasting, movement and speech. These practices can cause moderate and productive pain, such as the discomfort of an antiseptic cleaning a wound, but the invaluable byproduct is vision.
Just be careful not to practice the lids to a detrimental extent. The goal is not to exceed your limits in the practice of asanas, to adopt an extreme diet or to be rigid in your interpretation of philosophy. “Heat as self-discipline is an aid to self-progress, while self-torture is an obstacle,” Satchidananda explains. In other words, true tapas are born out of self-love, to enlighten your mind and body so that you can follow your inner guidance.
Here are three ways to practice tapas in a balanced way, without running out.
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It generates heat through action
If you feel trapped and need to generate energy, inspire your practice with a sequence that goes from Utkatasana (Chair Position) to Virabhadrasana III (Warrior Position III) and Revolved High Lunge.
Start at Tadasana (Mountain Position), focusing on one point later as you bend your knees in the chair posture. Raise your arms high, just in front of your ears, and actively press your palms together. Take 5 cycles of Ujjayi breathing. Then press your right foot, tilt your torso forward, and lift your left leg toward the Warrior III position for 5 cycles of breathing. You can extend your arms out like wings or bring your palms to your heart.
Finally, keep drishti (look), put your foot raised far back on the floor or mat, bend your front knee, and raise your arms in a high lunge. (You can also tilt your torso forward, bring your palms close to the center of your heart, and turn to the right for a rotating lunge.) Hold your position for 5 cycles of breathing, then return to the running position. the mountain. Repeat this sequence of three positions on the other side.
Inhale, exhale heat
When you need to flow towards a personal or creative goal, Bhastrika (Bellows Breath) can help clear your mind. Sit comfortably in a chair, or with your legs crossed on the floor or on a pillow. Place your palms on your navel. Close your eyes and take a deep breath and then exhale completely, feeling your breath move. On the next inhalation through the nose, stop breathing in half and exhale sharply, bringing the navel closer to the spine.
Repeat 27 times: short inhales in the middle of the abdomen and blunt exhalations that quickly stretch the navel to the spine. When you are finished, slow your breathing gradually until you exhale completely. Inhale and exhale completely and comfortably, noticing the heat in the body. Repeat 1-2 more times.
Break unhealthy habits
According to Satchidananda, fasting unhealthy foods and drinks to cleanse the toxin system is a healthy way to evoke heat. But refraining from eating is just a form of fasting. You can also commit to eliminating poisonous speech that could hurt others. Or you may draw attention to your own patterns of thinking by fasting from a harsh or critical judgment of others and yourself.
Breaking down unproductive habits often requires a painful effort: the challenge can leave us with the feeling of Tapas fire that we accept as self-realization and forward movement.
See also: He breaks bad habits in the manner of Patanjali
Rina Deshpande, EdM, E-RYT 500, is a teacher, writer, and researcher in yoga and mindfulness. Learn more about the rich philosophy of yoga with Rina’s “Yama Culture and Practice” course. This $ 300 on-demand course is included with your Outside + subscription.