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Tapas, the third Niyama

Hello again! In the last post, we wrapped up the second Niyama, Santosha which is all about contentment. Now it’s time to introduce the third Niyama, Tapas.

In Spanish, tapas is an appetizer or a snack. In the context of the Niyamas, the ethics of self-care, it is defined as heat, self-discipline, or austerity, which can be defined as morally strict, or simple. Tapas is about stoking the internal fire and focusing our energy.

This Niyama is about burning away impurities – physically, mentally and emotionally, in order to reveal our true Self, who we really are underneath it all.

Asana (yoga postures) are a way to practice Tapas for the physical body. By moving through our asana practice, we burn off excess energy and enable our minds to focus.

Meditation or mindfulness practices are Tapas for the mind. Once the body is ready to settle in, the mind can focus and burn off our negative thought patterns. When our minds can focus, we can notice, recognize and process our emotions, practicing Tapas still further.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Tapas. See you next time, for Tapas on the mat

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