The Power of Tapas

The Power of Tapas

Two weeks into the new year… How is everyone travelling?

I can hear the wide range of responses out there, a mix of groans, woo hoo’s, and everything in between. Whatever your first two weeks have looked like I hope you have been kind to yourself. I believe everything happens at exactly the time it is supposed to. No judgement required.

January traditionally coincides with talk of resolutions or goals and you may remember in a previous post I mentioned my preference of the phrase ‘setting intentions’. I feel this more accurately describes what we are really doing when we decide to commit to something.

Usually, this commitment involves improving some area of our life, our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth, our relationships, or our finances. And yet considering our firm determination in the moment, and the increase in energy and activity a new year presents, why do so many people give up by the end of the month?

I went back to yoga this week after a long period of delinquency, and was reminded of a yoga term Tapas meaning discipline. Tapas comes into play not when things are easy, but when challenges arise, life gets busy, and we ‘just don’t feel like it.’ 

Tapas is the art of self-discipline – on and off the mat. 

A new year marks a fresh start and often a parallel rise in personal and physical activity. People (re)join the gym or arrive at yoga filled with enthusiasm. They carry their new mat and sporting the latest ‘yoga/gym wear’ proudly announce to the world ‘I now DO yoga!’. 

And so, the journey begins…

In the case of Yoga, all goes well for the first few weeks then the magic of the practice begins to take effect. We find increasing moments of stillness and in this space, we can sometimes come face-to-face with our fears and frustrations. We can feel our bodies talking to us expressing discomfort for the hundreds of hours of minimal movement and we realise we can’t touch our toes, yet we are sure everyone else in the room can. Enter self-judgement.

Feelings of inadequacy quickly lead to self-deprecation, and we might begin to doubt ourselves and our abilities. When our ego is confronted, classes (everything) can become challenging and before long we have let obstacles and the busyness of everyday life take over. We make excuses and skip sessions … until one day we realise we haven’t been for months. The negative flow-on effect can often be felt long after we have rolled up our mats or put our gym shoes away.

It is at the very moment when we acknowledge the discomfort or the lack of motivation to attend, that the true practice of yoga begins. It is here we can tap into the power of discipline or Tapas. 

Progress of any kind (the work) starts with us and our WHY needs to be rock solid. When we make and keep small commitments or promises we build trust in ourselves. When we trust ourselves we build our integrity and others can also trust us.

We can use the power of Tapas in every area of our life and reap the benefits from all over.

  • Tapas is what allows us to enjoy the journey.
  • Tapas pushs us when we lack motivation.
  • Tapas encourage us to try something one more time or 100 more times.
  • Tapas keep us coming back to the mat, the meditation, the gym, the practice.  

Despite the somewhat negative connotation that the word ‘discipline’ can have, Tapas is always rooted in love and compassion. It is this same compassion when shown to ourselves that allows us to achieve more than we imagined, to truly thrive, and to become the next best version of ourselves

As we approach the end of January when will you tap into Tapas? 
What would a regular commitment look like? 
What benefits could you reap as a result of building discipline in one area and others?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu

Much Love
Dalya xx 💙

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