Posts Tagged ‘tapas’

Tapas – Austerity or Discipline

December 14, 2009

Tapas the activity of keeping the body fit or to confront and handle inner urges. It means to heat the body and, by so doing, to cleanse it. Tapas is also the cultivation of spiritual fire and passion. We can direct our energy to engage life and achieve our ultimate goal of creating union with the Divine. Tapas helps us to burn up all the desires that stand in our way of this goal.  Another form of tapas attention to body posture, eating habits and breathing patterns. Tapas includes specific practices, like fasting, holding silence, controlling the breath.

Things you can try to practice Tapas


Take time to breath deep.  Try focusing on your breath every time you glance at the clock

Go through a day without TV, computers or phones

Be silent for an hour or a day

Practice some kind of spirituality today

Affirmation for Tapas

I am in control of my bodily desires

I am mindful of my speech

I have a burning desire to reach my goals

I am disciplined in my spiritual endeavors

Journal Writing Exercises:

What techniques to you use to control your mind?

What is a current situation in your life that you need to apply greater discipline?

How have you used Tapas to achieve goals in the past?

How can you deepen your experience of Tapas?

Yoga Posture for Tapas: Surya Namaskar, Sun Salutation

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The Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga

September 25, 2009

Compiled by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, the Eight Limbs are a progressive series of steps or disciplines which purify the body and mind, to enlightenment.

1. Yamas- Restraints
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The five Yamas are:

Ahimsa: nonviolence, non-harming

Satya: truthfulness

Asteya: nonstealing

Brahmacharya: Moderation

Aparigraha: Non-attachment, Non-possessiveness

2. Niyama– Observances
Self-discipline and spiritual observances.

The five Niyamas are:

Saucha: cleanliness, Purity

Santosa: contentment

Tapas: dicipline, austerity

Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self

Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God, awareness of the divine

3. Asana– evolution of your personal practice
Asanas, the postures practiced in yoga.

View Asana Posts HERE

4. Pranayama– Breathing
Breath control

View Pranayama Posts HERE

5. Pratyahara– Drawing senses inward (prepares us for dharana)
Withdrawal or sensory transcendence, the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli.

6. Dharana– concentration (prepares us for Dhyana)
dealing with the distractions of the mind itself.

7. Dhyana- Meditation or contemplation (leads to Samadhi)
The uninterrupted flow of concentration.

View Meditation Posts HERE

8. Samadhi– Superconsciousness
One with everything

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