Tapasya (Niyama #3)


Tapasya -तपस्य – Fire from Austerity – Tapasya is practicing your will power for life.

It is an excellent and powerful tool to enhance any burning passion found within.  Tapas, the root word, means fire. But what does austerity mean? [We often think of austerity as governmental measures taken to restore public finances, like lowering budgets, spending cuts, or a hiring freeze, but really, Austerity just means something like: A Pause.]

Fire from Austerity is a lot like maintaining commitment and extreme concentration through sustained self control.

  • Why is self control important?

Because you are strong enough to not give in to the whiny baby residing in your adult form. Exhibit retraint and  have the fortitude to overcome the

  • “I’m tired..”
  • “I’m hungry..”
  • “I don’t want to..”

 Self-control is not only to be understood as negative reinforcement. It could be postive efforts of doing something you don’t want to, and enduring it with patience and dedication.

  • Tapasya can be understood as commitment:

 As in you are comitted to what you are currently involved in, no distractions, no shortcuts, no justifying, no excuses, and absolutely no examining options or doubts of, “What if?” when things become difficult.

  • Tapasya is at the heart of the greater good, and begs the question,

“Do the ends justify the means?”

“Are your activities in line with your cause or are they beyond the scope of what it is you have already committed to.”






Me as a Yoga Teacher

Yoga: Connecting our Dots.

 Image result for yoga peaceWe empower this art with practice and intention.

Practice: We join each of our dots to become whole. 

Intention: We create what that whole image looks like.

We use the the body to still the mind.

I start at the scheduled time, what about you? We do not begin yoga cold, start deep breathing the minute you arrive- suck in the navel to activate the core in any way you feel is good for you to warm-up. Don’t know how? Just start by contracting your muscles, first your butt, then the muscles on the front of the legs, etc. Close your eyes and feel what’s under your skin. This is self-induced trance. Take it seriously.

I will not ask you to move fast, so don’t start racing with yourself or others around you.

This is the antithesis of yoga. Think like tortoise. Move like a tortoise. You will always take at least one full inhale and one full exhale for each posture before you transition out of it.

Vinyasa: to move. I will teach you how to trust Asana, as in the holding of one position and vinyasa the movement from one asana into another. This is only 1/8 of the Yoga Experience.


Three tips to make your Yoga Transformation successful:

  • Common sense: This is not a “no-pain-no-gain” movement. This is ancient play. You are to be having fun – even in the most uncomfortable.

Do not force yourself into a pose. Asana is designed to dissolve emotional blockages trapped in your tissues. This is something that requires grace and patience. Think of it as loving yourself. We do not have the same body nor do we give or take love in the same way. None of us do. Postures may look very differently for each of us but the benefit is the same. If this is where your learning about yoga begins, welcome. I am happy to share this experience with you.

  • Commitment: This is a real place inside. You must make a decision to be here or there, wherever, and while yoga is about freedom. All freedom comes with great responsibility. You must listen to the ways that your body wants to move. You must balance intensity with sustainability. Transformational energy is already within you and yoga is about quieting the distractions that take you away from that commitment to yourself.

I will ask you to look around and make eye contact with someone. I will ask you to smile and celebrate their beauty and presence, in class- or the subway- wherever-whenever. Now look back at your own gaze and celebrate your presence. Sometimes we can get far from even the most enjoyable parts of ourselves.

  • Courtesy: Be courteous to your practice. It is called a practice because it is not perfect. Some days you notice what is going on in each pose, and some days you have to work for that awareness. Be courteous with each breath, but also with me as your guide.

We are constantly exchanging energy. Be courteous with every single person here.Do not sit and complain about your life’s struggles. No one can help you, but you. There is no talking in a yoga room/studio. Even if you and your immediate neighbor are happy to share, others are here for stillness. This is a time for them as much as it is for you. Let us grow together.