Get To Know Your Self - Show Up For Your Practice! - Daily Love with Mastin Kipp

Get To Know Your Self – Show Up For Your Practice!

A lot of people are first drawn to the practice, because of the fulfilling physicality of asana. You work your body and clear your mind as you move from pose to pose, always trying to ground yourself through the steadiness of your breath, and at the end of it, you enjoy the exquisite release and quiet of Savasana which keeps you coming back for more.

It starts out pretty simple, but I have seen many of my students make enduring commitments to their practices and have had the privilege of witnessing their practices grow and mature over the years. The transformation in each and every one of them has been equal parts amazing and humbling.

The process is never easy and involves working through a lot of resistance not only in the physical body, but also grappling with runaway thoughts and haywire emotions, simmering anxieties and building frustrations, perceived limitations — it takes a lot of courage to explore and move into these dark and unsettling facets of ourselves and endure all the messy feelings and issues that bubble up. It takes a lot of strength to get to know your Self.

One of the most profound and enduring concepts in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, is tapas, from the Sanskrit root, “to burn”. By showing up for our practices, we commit ourselves to the process of burning through the dross: the habits and negative patterns that are holding us back, in order to realize the fullness and wholeness of our being. It’s about peeling away layers so that the Self can shine brighter.

In asana, it’s staying a few breaths longer in a pose, giving yourself another opportunity to breathe into the discomfort, to still the fluctuations of your mind and hopefully realize the root of the discomfort and resistance on both the physical and emotional level. However, it’s very important not to lose sight of the fact that practicing tapas is not about moving on to more difficult poses every single class, or always pushing yourself to go deeper and work harder all the time.

As Judith Lasater explains, “a better way of understanding tapas is to think of it as consistency in striving towards your goals … If you think of tapas in this vein, it becomes a more subtle but more constant practice, a practice concerned with the quality of life and relationships rather than focused on whether you can grit your teeth through another few seconds in a difficult asana”.

I invite you to get to know your Self, and show up for your practice at the Tadasana Festival, and walk away with a sense of courage and find the inspiration to dive in and live your life!

Joan Hyman

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Joan Hyman is a distinguished Senior Yogaworks Teacher, who weaves her personal yogic journey into popular teacher trainings, workshops, and retreats around the world. She will be teaching at The Tadasana Festival in Santa Monica that will run from April 20-22, 2012, Earth Day Weekend. Joan will be leading a practice on “Burning Through Your ‘Stuff’” on Friday, April 20, 2012 at 8 am and Empower your yoga flow with Mia Togo and Tony Kalife. To buy tickets to Tadasana click here.