• The Open Mind Space

Niyamas: Tapas

Tapas. Not just tiny food from Spain, this is the third of the Niyamas (inner observances) outlined by Patanjali. Tapas is our fire, our drive, our discipline.

B.K.S. Iyengar says that ‘Tapas is the conscious effort to achieve ultimate union with the Divine and to burn up all desires which stand in the way of this goal’. Plus, he says that ‘life without Tapas, is like a heart without love’.

Tapas can allow our desire for growth to get bigger, to burn like a flame. It can help us to stay on the path we have been led to (or chosen) when things get difficult. It can help us to develop mental attitudes and physical practices that continue leading us to higher states of awareness, connection and joy.

Tuning into our fire, our Tapas, makes us unshakeable. It burns up all of the ‘stuff’ on the periphery that is a distraction on our path forward and give us courage and wisdom to keep going.


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