As we look ahead into the end of this year and onto the next, maybe you are lucky enough to have a few days off from work and spend time with close friends and family. It might be during a moment of downtime that you are are able to think and reflect back on the year, and take a look at the goals or resolutions you set back in January. It is also a time of self-assessment: Did we honestly accomplish the goals we had set for ourselves back in January, have we fallen short of our intentions or are we in fact, exactly where we need to be? For many of us, the harsh reality of judgement is that sometimes our goals do in fact get lost. With the busy lifestyles that we all live nowadays, the daily checklist is first and foremost and the longer range goals repeatedly become lost in the spiral of chaos. The end of the Fall is a time that I have personally seen myself in this everlasting pattern. It can feel disappointing and discouraging to observe where I am with my goals for the year.
Since I started my yoga practice here at Artemis, many of the teachers have reiterated the sense of something called “Tapas” in my classes. Tapas derives from the Sanskrit language used in yoga practices for thousands of years, and in its most simple terms means,“ heat”, referring to the burning off of impurities. It comes from one of the five “Niyamas” or personal observances of yoga (Light on Life). A deeper and the more underlying meaning of Tapas is “Going against the grain of habit, of complacency. Tapas is the fervor of striving to be the best you can, which may mean shifting what you do and how you do it.”(Yoga Shanti).
Tapas is often a call to action or even an invitation to move past obstacles, to literally “burn” away obstructions but the […]