Right after I announced that I was purchasing Westport Yoga KC one year ago, my student Ginny gave me this card. I taped it in the front of my lesson plan notebook; so I would see it every day.
Do it with passion, or not at all.
This just about covers the idea of tapas from our study of yoga philosophy. Tapas is a niyama, a personal consideration. We’ve already discussed the first two of the five niyamas: saucha (self-care) and santosha (contentment) in previous posts. Both saucha and santosha sound pleasant and gentle and a perhaps a slightly idealistic: character traits developed by spending my days lounging in daisy covered hillsides singing show-tunes with Olaf and Julie Andrews.
But tapas? Zest, zeal, curiosity, unrestrained passion and discipline? THAT, I can get behind. My eyes light up when the words “curiosity, challenge and exploration” are thrown into the game. I’m notorious for doing things with passion or not doing them at all. Go big or go home.
Like this yoga studio I decided to purchase, which was my home base for offering yoga teachings in my community and was also totally floundering financially when I stepped in. Or when I decided to compete in my first trail race and ended up running one at altitude in Salida, Colorado the day after climbing a 14er (and of course, sleeping in a van). If I’m going to do it: I’m going to do it really, really big, which lots of passion, zest, zeal and a spirit of curiosity. Tapas.
The spirit of tapas asks: What are you doing when you feel most fully alive? And then says: Go do it.
In yoga, we call it ‘living your dharma.’ Dharma doesn’t necessitate that your passion is your profession. (This can often lead to burn out; remember this story about caramel brownies?) Understanding dharma is understanding that we each have something significant to contribute to the larger macrocosm of the world; we each have the potential of living our fullness on an individual level. It’s finding the way to express our tapas, our curiosity, our unique talents and then doing it with passion.
“When you are thriving, when you are serving your highest purpose, you are, in fact serving the highest purpose of everything else.” -Rod Stryker
This month in my blog series we’ll discuss how tapas (zeal, exploration) and dharma (meaning, purpose) interrelate and how these concepts help you Follow Your Bliss.
Our jumping off point is Saturday April 7, 2018: “Follow Your Bliss” a Stay-Cation Yoga Retreat. Together we’ll delve into the ideas of dharma, tapas and personal fulfillment, learning how to use rituals, meditation and yoga to follow bliss and potential.
Registration includes: 5+ hours of yoga practice, healthy snacks, fresh-pressed juice, take-home exclusive essential oil blend for self-massage and a day of soul exploration.
Register online:Westport Yoga KC (spots are extremely limited and these retreats always sell out!)
Happy Passionate Living,