I chose the Niyama Tapas as an area of focused development for me.
Tapas is defined as, “The burning fire of daily practice that creates an austerity of being, the forging of our character, which opens us more and more to our true nature”, in the book Teaching Yoga, Essential Foundations and Technics. I choose this Niyama because I am searching to know my true nature.
Today I stand at a crossroads. Everything that has been relatively constant and stable in my life for the past 20 years is crumbling. And while I am sad, I am not only sad. I feel a kind of joy that comes with freedom. I feel a kind of relief that comes when you get a second chance. In that constant of my past, I had become a prisoner. A prisoner to other people’s expectations, a prisoner to a paycheck, a prisoner of my own fear. Fear that whispered, “You’re not worthy, you’re not equal, you’re an imposter.”
That life, was my old story. I am writing a new story for my life and my yoga teach training is a major part of this change. My new story will be one filled with hope and joy. A story where I learn and live my dharma. Where I have the courage to live my own life, the life I am meant to lead. A story where I dare enough to take risks and be vulnerable. A life where I am compassionate and caring for those around who fear my changes, and where I give time and energy to bring joy and light to others.
Rewriting my story is hard, because it is change, and change is hard. Habits grow deep and become so easy and effortless. They seduce me. They lull me. Without discipline and focus, I will quietly return to the old story, to my prison. In order to transform my life I must be disciplined and I must have enthusiasm for this change. As the book informs, every experience should be treated as a tool for self-realization.
My intention is to embrace the philosophy of Tapas and transform my life. I’ll incorporate the following into my life as forms of discipline to start with
Journaling every night – outside the food journal – even if the only thing that comes out is ‘blah’
Reading for at least 30 minutes every evening
Dedicating at least 3 hours per week to work on stained glass
Practicing yoga at least 5 times per week
Researching and practicing different pranayama breathing weekly. -Jane Beynon