“Kayendrh siddhir asuddhi ksayat tapasah. By austerity, impurities of body and senses are destroyed and occult powers gained.” -Yoga Sutra II:43, translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda
‘Tapas’ means heat, fire, austerity, sweat, a burning desire and discipline, and it is essential to advancing your yoga practice. How do you stay focused on the path, create a daily practice, develop and maintain steadiness of mind? By first wanting it really badly, of course! This desire fuels you to come back to your intention and to go beyond previously held limitations. The asana practice is designed to warm the body and create heat. In the physical release of your sweat, you are burning away what you don’t need with the fire of your tapas and moving beyond it. In this way, tapas is both the fuel and the fire of your practice, and it is what keeps you moving further and deeper along the path. It is essential to cultivate tapas as the discipline which keeps us active and engaged on the path and as the element which purifies us and allows us to transform. Celebrate and cultivate your burning desire to experience yoga! Relish in its purifying effect!