Tapas and the Fire of Transformation

Tapas and the Fire of Transformation

“Self-discipline burns away impurities and kindles the sparks of divinity.”  –Yoga Sutras Coming back to my blog right now feels like an out of the blue phone call I’m making to an old friend with whom I haven’t spoken in a long while–it’s bound to be a bit awkward, I’m feeling kind of nervous, and I have lots of anticipation and hopes for reconnection. I’m asking myself, Why did I get stuck...

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Santosha–Experience Contentment in the Here and Now

Santosha–Experience Contentment in the Here and Now

  “Everyone is already the living Buddha, complete, whole, perfect as you are.  All this action and effort to become special is just making you very unspecial and creating a tremendous amount of pain and suffering.”  –Zen master Dennis Genpo Merzel Moving right along to the second niyama–santosha, which means “contentment.” I don’t know about you, but when I think of the word “contentment,” the word “happiness” appears alongside it...

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Saucha–Get Clean!

Saucha–Get Clean!

“When the body is cleansed, the mind purified and the senses controlled, joyful awareness, needed to realize the inner self, also comes.”  –Yoga Sutras And now we begin our study of the niyamas, the second limb of the eight-limbed path of raja yoga.  Before we launch into them, I wanted to take a moment to distinguish between the first and second limbs, the yamas and the niyamas. The yamas are universal in their application, to be...

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Aparigraha: Let It Go and Have it All

Aparigraha: Let It Go and Have it All

“By the observance of aparigraha, the yogi makes his life as simple as possible and trains his mind not to feel the loss or the lack of anything. Then everything he really needs will come to him by itself at the proper time.”  –B.K.S. Iyengar Now we come to the final yama, aparigraha, non-hoarding or non-collecting.  Like asteya, non-stealing, aparigraha begins with the trust that we will get our needs met. From that trust is born the...

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Brahmacharya and the Quest for Balance

Brahmacharya and the Quest for Balance

  “One who sees divinity in all is a brahmachari.”  –B.K.S Iyengar And now here we are ready to explore the fourth yama, yay! If you haven’t read any of the last posts and are saying to yourself, “Yama, wuh?”, here’s a little information to bring you up to speed. The yamas comprise the first limb of the eight-limbed path of Raja yoga, and they are they ethical disciplines that we practice so that we can be in harmony with ourselves and...

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Asteya–Moving out of Fear and Celebrating Abundance

Asteya–Moving out of Fear and Celebrating Abundance

“When abstention from stealing is firmly established, precious jewels come.”–Yoga Sutras The third yama is asteya, which means nonstealing. At first, as I contemplated this yama, my mind jumped in with, “But I don’t steal. So this yama is a no-brainer. Yeah, I got this. I don’t shoplift, I don’t take anything that I haven’t paid for. Ok, next yama?” Whenever my mind says something like that, I should listen for a warning bell going off,...

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