living your yoga DOs

The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in. –B.K.S Iyengar

Join Kimberly for a discussion of these THIS Friday at 6:30 in the tea lounge. A special event for all tranquility immersion participants.

Living Yoga Dos

let’s explore how to live yoga through a connection to the second step (niyamas) on our eight-part yoga path. These are five simple guidelines for interacting with ourselves that are the foundation of yoga as outlined in the Yoga Sutras written by Patanjali, a third-century B.C.E. Indian mystic and philosopher.

1. Saucha (purity): Avoid filling your body with toxic substances or your mind with negativity. Keep your surroundings free of clutter. Be pure in your intentions and kind with your words.

2. Santosha (contentment): Recognize that everything you need lies within you. View your obstacles as opportunities for growth and your greatest teachers. Be fully in the present moment and let go of past regret or future worry.

3. Tapas (discipline): This is the act of tenacity and is referred to as heat. By heating an object it becomes for malleable, and by “heating” ourselves we become more disciplined and able to transform.

4. Svadyaya (self-study): Ongoing introspection and reflection is a way to recognize patterns, explore relationships, and ponder reactions. This can be exercised through journal writing, meditation, yoga, and quiet moments alone with your thoughts.

5. Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to God): This sounds terribly grandiose but it basically means to let go, stop trying to control everything. Sound impossible? I know, I know, this one is particularly challenging. In Buddhism we’re taught that wanting things to be different than they are is the root of much suffering. Releasing expectations can be incredibly powerful.

Omwork (homework with a yogic twist): Explore the do that most excites you. What are some ways that you can express it more in your daily life? For example, say tapas is your do of choice, you could: go to bed earlier to get up earlier; commit to 10-minutes of timed writing each day to get you closer to completing your novel; start running and sign up for that half-marathon you’ve always talked about; pull out that dusty cushion and start each day with a 5-minute meditation; begin making your lunch the night before to ensure you have a nutritious bite the next day at the office. The options for carrying these dos off the mat are endless. May these support you on your continued journey into living mindfully and joyfully!

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