Saturday, November 14, 2009


Self-Discipline. This can be defined many ways and the beautiful thing about the yogic path is that we get to define things for ourselves, according to our needs and where we are at any particular point in our lives. For instance, the self-discipline that I need to work on may be quite different from whatever it is that you need to work on. Tapas can be anything from getting out of bed a little earlier each morning, to giving up smoking, to sitting for longer in meditation. Asana, or the postures work we do on the mat in a typical yoga class, is a form of tapas. We are disciplining the body by correcting muscle imbalance and cleansing internal organs, eliminating toxins from our tissues as we sweat. You can choose one form of tapas or many. For me, asana is no problem, I do it every day. Getting enough exercise and eating healthy food is easy for me as well. For others, not so. For you, getting to the gym three times per week may be your tapas right now. For me, reducing my chocolate consumption is going to take a lot of hard work and determination. For instance, I walked into the grocery store just yesterday, and lo and behold, there was a lady standing just inside the door to greet all customers with a lovely display of Green & Blacks' Organic Chocolate in all different percentages and varieties. Now, not too long ago, I was able to to say to myself: "Well, would you look at that! God really does want me to eat more chocolate! After all, Theobroma (as in theobroma cacao) does mean food of the gods, so who would really ever want to deprive themselves of such a heavenly food!?" With a little creative imagination and a great deal of delusion we are often quite capable of talking ourselves right back into the habits we want to give up or cut back. This is where Satya comes back in. Being Truthful. Without it, our attempts at tapas are bound to fail. I did walk away from the chocolate lady, but in all honesty I still had the bar of Equal Exchange chocolate that I had bought the day before. So, tiny steps. Tiny steps are always okay, as long as they are heading in the direction we wish to travel.

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