SANSKRIT for HEAT
AKA: Self-discipline, austerity, asceticism
TAPAS is a NIYAMA. Niyamas are attitudes and practices that help us evolve into the best possible version of our wonderful selves.
Old-school yogis took tapas VERY seriously. Meditating for long periods of time, fasting for days on end or adhering to a very strict diet are just a few things they did to align with tapas energy.
Are you going to do that? Am I going to do that? Probably not. So how can we modern yogis integrate tapas into our life without completely giving up sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll?
My advice is to keep it simple and take it one day at a time. Here are a few ideas:
- Whether it be yoga or another form of exercise, make it a point to sweat a few times a week. Sweating helps to eliminate toxins from the inside out!
- Free yourself from the stimulant/depressant cycle: instead of that drink every night and cup of coffee every morning, try greeting your day with a fresh pressed juice and instead end your day with herbal tea.
- Try to stick to a clean diet: simple, fresh, organic ingredients.
- Wake up a few minutes earlier than you normally do and meditate for 15-20 minutes. Adding meditation to your daily routine has the power to create a profound shift in a positive direction.
- Are you sitting on a game-changing idea? Get it down on paper. Write down all the things you need to do to make it happen and give yourself deadlines. Do it!
We all have habits, attitudes and behaviors that are not serving us and are bringing us down. The concept of TAPAS, or HEAT, can be applied to several things. It cleanses the body of impurities, but it also reminds us of the effort it requires to create change. When there is change, a powerful transformation takes place, shedding the old self and reaching higher potential. Without becoming the proverbial monk on the mountain top, we can integrate some of these subtle things to live richer, fuller and more peaceful lives.