The month of February takes its name from Februa, the Roman Festival of Purification. It is also the month we observe St. Valentines Day, a celebration of the heart. In yoga, tapas, which literally means to heat, is a form of purification. Tapas is the fire of yoga, a dynamic force that makes you a luminous being, bringing out the luster in you. Tapas is a discipline that involves self-restraint, and when it is ignited by the power of the heart, it is not limiting or binding. When you master the things that challenge you, you become luminous. This is where yoga becomes a tool for transformation.
Tapas can be provoking, almost confrontational. Here's the principal: A match has all the potential for fire within it yet needs a catalyst, a provocation for luminosity. The teacher nurtures and provokes bringing out the flame inherent in you. Tapas purifies the body and mind by burning away all that is unnecessary and that no longer serves you. When focus is directed, old patterns and habits fall away. Through tapas we become energized and realize our potential through the awakened heart.
Tapas is a force of alchemy that purifies you as a way to become a stronger vessel to contain the power of Shakti, the creative force within us all. We cultivate this during our practice through mindfulness, observance of the breath, skillful sequencing, and the practice of alignment. Aligning with your true nature is a gateway to go deeper into the heart. Technical alignment helps to honor and support this unfolding. The power of yoga is the power to reach inside your own heart for strength and inspiration. Consistent practice and a conscious commitment to your goal illuminates the way and burns through obstacles so that you are better able to express the passion in your heart. It can be summed up best by this quote from the Upanishads: "tapas becomes tejas, the radiant splendor of personality that shows itself in love, compassion, creative action and a melting tenderness which draws all hearts."
Happy Valentine's Day !
"the only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart"