Type A Yoga & Tapas
"Tapas is simply energy, and it can work either for us or against us." - Meditations from the Mat
Tapas is the third niyama - or internal observance - that we are called to practice in Patanjali's 8-limbed yoga system. Defined as self-discipline, asceticism, zeal, most Type-A leaders I know are experts at Tapas -- at least on the surface.
We relish discipline. Got a plan, a schedule, a goal? We are IN. And we are in 100%.
But this niyama teaches us that the pursuit itself is not the goal. Instead it is the process of internal purification that we undergo as we take on challenge that transforms us. As goal-driven people, we can be so singularly focused on the results - the finish line, the next level, the promotion, the perfect asana posture - that we miss the power in the process. Once we reach our planned destination, we're immediately on to the next , without pausing to be present while we're actually on the journey.
Tapas helps us understand the potential that exists in the practice - in the repetition, in the mundane, in the RIGHT NOW. Regardless of the external results, we can be internally transformed.
Read more of my niyama series: