What better month than August to focus on the third niyama, tapas? (After all, the root of this Sanskrit word is “heat”!) When you feel the light of your divine nature, fueled by your indomitable will and motivated by your highest desire, you shine and radiate that light within you. The light within me sees the light within you. Practices that give power to this light are tapas.
When we are driven primarily to satisfy the primitive urges of our animal nature—of needing food, sleep, sex, and self-preservation—we can become slothful and suffer from inertia. Yet, we need to satisfy those urges so that our bodies can be healthy vehicles for our spirits. To apply tapas to any practice is to sit with the discomfort of not giving into the demands of the senses.
For example, you feel hunger because you were rushing and skipped a meal. Now you are in the grocery and smell cinnamon rolls being baked. You cave in and eat two cinnamon rolls to satisfy the hunger. Applying tapas to the situation would have you ride out that immediate craving and, instead, use the fire of the discomfort to apply discipline and adjust your future schedule in order to provide time for nourishing meals and to keep your body healthy.
In a yoga class, you can apply tapas as you practice endurance while breathing through a plank pose with an intention to use that “fire” for transformation and not cave in to the desire to be comfortable. However, notice the difference in intention between “pushing” yourself in the service of the ego and enduring discomfort as purification and transformation of the lower nature to shine with divine light. Namaste.
August updates and special events:
- Supplies drive for BGWCHS. To accompany our fundraising Kitten Yoga classes and to benefit the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society, we are hosting a supplies drive Aug. 1-5 at the studio. Feel free to drop off any items from the shelter’s wish list either downstairs at The Pots Place or upstairs at the studio, and we will deliver them to the shelter on Aug. 5. We have also posted a flyer listing the most needed supplies.
- Workshop with Raquel Bueno. On Sun., Aug. 20, we welcome Raquel Bueno, owner and founder of Liberation Yoga in Nashville, to 4yoga! From 1-3 p.m., Raquel is offering a workshop appropriate for all levels of students. Pre-register at the Liberation website to reserve your space!
- Classes at The Downing Museum. In August we continue visiting The Downing Museum for our second-Saturday yoga class and fourth-Saturday meditation class. The class fee remains the same as at the studio ($5), and we are grateful for the demand for these classes and for the opportunity to practice in such a beautiful space twice each month. See this post for links to the online registration forms.
- Tapas focus for Living Our Yoga. This month’s Living Our Yoga class, on Fri., Aug. 25, focuses on the third niyama, tapas. Team-taught by Alice and Angie, this class combines the traditional yin asanas with thematic readings and teachings to enhance students’ experience and to create conditions that may take them deeper into the mind, body, and spirit aspects of their practice.
- Sunday edition of Restorative class. In addition to the ongoing weekly 7 p.m. Thursday Restorative classes, Angie will continue to offer a monthly Sunday-night Restorative class. This month, it meets on Aug. 6 at 5:45 p.m. Create your own mini-yoga-retreat by combining Nicole’s 4 p.m. Basics class with the Restorative class that follows.
- Eclipse viewing party. On Mon., Aug. 21, The Pots Place will host an eclipse viewing party in the lounge and on the deck! Kathie will provide wine, cheese, and eclipse glasses. We encourage you to bring a dish or beverage to share and to join us at noon for a downtown view of this historic event. To help us prepare, please RSVP by completing this brief form.
For a full list of August activities, see the calendar page or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. We also post updates each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.