by Rene Hawthorne | October 26, 2019 8:04 pm
Since we are creatures of comfort, we often don’t want to step out of our comfort zone. Breaking through old habits or patterns can be like getting out of deep grooves in a muddy road. Often very difficult and with us ending up deeper than we started. In yoga we call these grooves Samskaras. They are patterns created by thoughts both conscious and unconscious. These habitual patterns are usually set in place either through personal experience or through action and often by someone else. This becomes the root of our suffering as these patterns rule our decisions and our lives.
The word Tapas in yoga means to heat, particularly referring to creating change through the use of discipline, determination and practice that often requires us to go beyond our comfort zone. Tapas is the internal flame that burns to cleanse. It can help us achieve our goals and dreams by burning through obstacles. That inner flame motivates us to make changes when we need to. It provides a willingness to do whatever is necessary to move out of our situation. It’s often referred to as Solar Spirit Shining, the fanning of our own internal flame.
When we sometimes feel stuck or resistance in our lives, this can be a signal of a need to fan that inner flame. Once change is initiated, transformation begins. All things change, this is a universal law. We just need that spark to light our internal motivation. Tapas focuses energy, increases strength and confidence so we can create new habits, better concentration or a new direction.
“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.” ~Tapas – Yoga Shanti
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