TAPAS तपस्)
The virtue of self-disciplineFocus of the Week @athayogazurich

Through Tapas we make daily decisions to let go of physical and mental habits that block our progress.

Tapas is willpower and energy for a persistent and steady practice. A sincere Sadhana, intense (spiritual) discipline driven by tapas, leads the yogi to fulfilment.

The lotus flower is rooted in mud, darkness and inertia. The stem pushing upwards towards the light symbolises tapas and represents great discipline and willpower and demonstrates the need for self-discipline.

Only when the stem has overcome the mud and water the flower can appear and unfold its splendor and bloom.

The element of fire, with which tapas is associated, is an element of transformation.

Tapas helps us overcome some challenges or resist others. Transformation happens when we allow change by stepping out of our comfort-zone and practice asanas or meditation-techniques that we are not confident in or perhaps even a little afraid of. It helps us to grow stronger and become more complete.

Having Tapas integrated does not mean having no more inner resistance or other obstacles, but it means doing what is right anyway. Just like courage does not mean not being afraid, but doing something anyway.

When we sometimes trick ourselves into showing up for practice on the mat, but actually feel an unwillingness to do so and would much rather do something comfortable, but then we surrender to the practice and create that fire of tapas, to burn away inertia through sun salutations or an intense flow, we experience that happiness of self-discipline, being grateful to have overcome ourselves.

And suddenly we shine and flourish on the mat or in places of challenge.