This week we draw our awareness to the Niyama (Self observation) of TAPAS *heat*! or purification through self discipline.
I’ve chosen crow pose as this embodies the self determination and dedication I’ve witnessed in many lovely yogis / yoginis as they’ve challenged themselves to work into the pose over weeks/months of practice 😍🙏! ‘Practice and All Is Coming.’ K. Pattabhi Jois
We might think of tapas as ‘dedication’ or igniting the fire WITHIN. Not moving fast to create a lot of sweat, but, truly working the body, from the deep inside out: isometrically hugging muscles to the bone to create the internal heat. This work/heat/sweat IGNITES change (on the mat and in your life 😉).
In vinyasa flow yoga a continuous flowing sequence is threaded together by the breath. The internal forms of the practice :the breath, drishti (or gaze), mudra (energy seals made through hand gestures) and bandha (energy locks) create a strong moving meditation practice.
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga has become known for its intensity and rigor because the flowing meditative movement allows students to work “on their edge”. Concentration of the mind is demanded which causes internal heat (tapas) to arise in the body which can cause sweating (in contrast to ‘hot’ yoga which results from the external temperature eg. in a purposefully heated room).
Further reading / viewing :
How to ‘crow’: