TAPAS

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TAPAS – The third Niyama translates of as heat. Also as discipline, change, tolerance, spiritual effort and transformation. In many places around the world since records of our first existence fire 🔥 has been a symbol in many cultures and tribes of transformation. To this day when we walk in the fire of life and go through whatever it is that burns our souls when we come out on the other side we come out stronger. But the fire is not always comfortable. In discomfort there is growth. It requires discipline. The word discipline comes from the word disciple. It is that thing which moves us deep inside, the fire within that wants to sparkle, that gets us off the couch and invites us to practice ! Wether is training for a marathon, getting on your yoga mats, joining a yoga training, sitting in meditation or any activity which we know it’s for our better good : Tapas tells us “Just Do It” much like the Nike commercial. So today I ask you what is it that’s holding you back ? It’s time to raise above and move forward into and through the fire. Surrender to the discomfort and know that transformation exists on the other side. More often than not we come out as better people. We choose to forsake momentary pleasures for future rewards. When in our lives there are moments of pain, we connect to the fire within and let it burn – never running away but looking at it in the eye and remaining steady – after darkness there is light – in one of the next niyamas – Ishvara Pranidhana we learn to surrender to God, Divine source and know that there is a Higher Power and a bigger plan. One of my favorite sayings is : A crisis is a terrible thing to waste – and as one of my teachers Sri K Pattabhi Jois says “Practice, And All Is Coming ” #tapas #patanjali #justdoit #shantipeaceproject #theniyamas #fire #firewithin #transformation #letitburn

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SANTOSHA

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SANTOSHA – the second Niyama – Contentment and being grateful for who we are and what we have. 🌈☀️” Satisfaction, Satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try 🎶 🎸 I can’t get no, I can’t get no… Satisfaction,Satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try…I can’t get no, I can’t get no I can’t get no, oh no no no !
Hey hey hey, that’s what I say! – Rolling Stones 🎼🎬 Alright we’ve all been there. Santosha teaches and asks us can you be happy with what we have and not participate in the chit chatter of our minds … I’ll be happy when …. or I’ll be happy when … How about now ? Happiness is a decision we should make. The time for yoga is now. The time to live your life is now. The time to love is now ♥️ In God’s Universe nothing is lacking. You are enough as you are right now. If we do not fill our house with light, darkness will be there. Stop complicating things or making excuses for not living your one happy life now. There is only one of you. Have gratitude for those you love who are with you here- right now. Most of us have made mistakes in life , perhaps we let someone we love go ? Perhaps we haven’t expressed our loved to the ones we cherish ? Where is the gratitude? We are so blessed to live in this body temple. And yet Santosha or ‘contentment’ doesn’t mean idly sitting back and relinquishing the need to do anything. It simply means accepting and appreciating what we have and what we are already, and moving forwards from there. The next Niyama Tapas goes more into that. Today I ask you : Start your day in gratitude, fill your heart with joy and count your blessings 🙏🏼💛🎶🎶🎶 and I will do the same for me ✨✨ You are your most beautiful song, and you are pure magic 💫 #santosha #shantipeaceproject #lightworkers #planetearth #gratitude #blessings #onelife #rollingstones #createyourmusic #heart #niyamas #patanjali #eightlimbsofyoga

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SAUCA

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SAUCA – the first Niyama✨ Purification/ Purity / cleanliness of our body temples, our thoughts, our words , our actions, our intentions, the company we keep, our environment ✨✨Keep the energy flowing and become a vessel of light and love. Let go of #Samskaras which no longer serves us. Making wise choices with our consumption intake, drink lots of water, exercise , be active and get the necessary rest. Pretty straight forward. Sauca invites us to purity our bodies, our thoughts – our words. ” In any way that we hold on to past wounds, we injure ourselves and keep ourselves from the ability to be pure with what is current in our lives. Forgiveness of self and other is the most generous gift we can give ourselves. ” – Deborah Adele. 💙 not only we seek purity with ourselves, but we seek purity in each moment. We become a person who can comfortably and compassionately sit with another without the need to fix them. 🙏🏼✨✨✨✨☀️☀️☀️☀️ #sauca #patanjali #yoga #eightlimbs #love #purity #lifelongpractice #shantipeaceproject

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THE NIYAMAS

IMG_8110Second limb of yoga is the Niyamas, according to Wikipedia: Niyama (Sanskrit: नियम) means positive duties or observances. In Indian traditions, particularly Yoga, niyamas and its complement, Yamas, are recommended activities and habits for healthy living, spiritual enlightenment and liberated state of existence. 🌸🌸🌸 We unfold the lotus and continue the journey of enlightenment ✨✨✨ the practice continues evolving reminding us each and every day that it is simply a practice 🙏🏼✨✨✨…. let’s continue ➡️ #dayindayout #daybyday #presence #onlyloveisreal #patanjali #samadhi #eightlimbs #yoga #niyamas #yogaoffthemat #philosophy #lifestyle #planetearth #peace #shantipeaceproject

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APARIGRAHA

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APARIGRAHA – The fifth and last Yama – many times translated as non possessiveness, non hoarding. Releasing attachments 💫seems like a non easy task. Paying attention to how much we take and how much we hold on too. If we can free our space, we then allow free flow of energy and we can live in the FLOW. Allowing energy to move easily and freely ✨ creating space for whatever it is that the Universe has for us to come through. Easier said than done. Right ? Yes, this is the reminder to clean your closet that many times a year. Perhaps if we purchase three new items of clothes or whatever, we can gift or get rid of three or more. Is the idea of never taking too much – except what you need. And how about our loved ones, do we cling on to them ? Not allowing them to experience life as they wish – respecting their individual ideas and truth. How about clinging on to the idea of someone or something always being the same because you/we are used to it or have an expectation? The only thing we know is the impermanence of all things, including this post, you and me. The sooner we allow this idea of impermanence to sink in the easier and more smooth this life will be. Make no mistake, this is no easy task. Any attachments to stuff, situations or life as is must be released. A great example is in the epic The Bhagavad Gita, Krishna shares with Arjuna, the great warrior; – ” Let your concern be with action alone, and never with the fruits of action. Do not let the results of action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction’. What Krishna is essentially saying here, is that we should never concern ourselves with the outcome of a situation, we should only concern ourselves with what we’re actually doing right now. Hummm …. intense ? You are not alone. It’s a practice. Live each day and just breathe. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the magnificent Sufi poet Rumi – ” Let the beauty we love be what we do.” ♥️♥️♥️ #aparigraha #yogaphilosophy #yogaoffthemat #lifestyle #yogis #rumi #bhagavadgita #shantipeaceproject #lifelongpractice #thetimeforyogaisnow #patanjali #peace

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BRAHMACHARYA

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The fourth Yama Brahmacharya ✨ Known as non excess and celibacy. Teaches us how to contain and create healthy boundaries. Can you see God in everything, as well as in yourself ? Wether you decide to live a monastic life or not, this Yama invites us to live a life of highly ethical sexual practices. Following the first three Yamas in brahmacharya we do no harm to others through our relationships or to our own Self. Knowing that at the core of each being is Atman ~ divine essence. When we harm another through our actions we harm ourselves. Sexuality can be used as a sacred holy entity or it can be a weapon of destruction. Here we learn to respect ourselves and know how to not live in excess, we learn to not act from our impulses. To see our partnerships as sacred. We cherish our body temples and our Souls and through it the act of intimacy becomes Heaven on Earth. Remember just because someone desires you, it does not mean that they value you. Act from a place of holiness and not indulgence. This is the spiritual path : it ask us to embark on the path of light and with God in all areas of our life. #bramacharya #eightlimbs #yoga #philosophy #walkingwithgod #thepathoflight #peace #love #shantipeaceproject

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ASTEYA

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ASTEYA – Non Stealing – is the third Yama of the eight limbs. In a very blunt sense yes do not steal, but like many aspects of yoga there are deeper underlying meanings. Are you stealing someone else’s light by always being the one to speak ? Can we practice the art of listening and give our loved ones the space to be who they want to be. Can we allow other people to have their own experiences without always imposing our opinions on others, which than by doing so aren’t we stealing from their own journeys of Self discovery and personal growth. On the same sense can we look at others for inspiration and yet come up with our own ways and ideas 💡 And how are we stealing time ? Are we always rushing through life ? If so take a moment to pause and smell the flowers. ASTEYA asks us to be original in the most simple sense and like all else in yoga start everything from a place of integrity. Even the things we own in this life time must be ultimately seen as impermanent like all else. As Richard Freeman says ” When practicing ASTEYA we must see things as part of an interconnected whole, and with that insight, we can release everything to be just as it is so that all may flow in its natural and true way ” #ashtangayogaeightlimbs

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SATYA

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SATYA – Truth- Is the second Yama of the eight limbs. Truth is the courage to be who you are without harming anyone along the way – for satya builds upon ahimsa. Truth is the courage to embrace the natural flow of life and evolution without being caught up in rigidity. We all know to trust people not by what they say but by what they do. Truth challenges us to walk your talk and teach by example. To live in truth requires us to go inside and take an inventory of who and what we are on a continuous basis. Human beings have both the need to belong in groups and a need to expand and grow. How can we honor ourselves and yet live in harmony within our groups. It requires integrity at the center of our hearts 💚 Truth rarely seems to ask the easier choice of us and yet it is so necessary on the spiritual path. Swami Satyananda says ” When a man is under tension, his behavior is influenced; and when he relaxes, he becomes natural. He knows reality, the truth. Than he also knows how to behave, because the knowledge of truth is necessary for right behavior. And knowledge of truth only comes when you are free of tension.” Yoga is a practice we do everyday and like Maya Angelou said – Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. #Satya #eightlimbs #yoga #roots #patanjali #truth #loveall #yogaoffthemat #shantipeaceproject * first Yama on previous post #yamas 📸 credit @jcstrickler3

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AHIMSA – Patanjalis Eight Limbs Of Yoga

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AHIMSA

– In Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga – The first limb : The Yamas invited us to take a look at ourselves first and foremost. To awake the divine within. Ahimsa the first of the five Yamas means non-violence / non-harming. All of the other yamas, niyamas and six other limbs are based and built upon ahimsa. So ahimsa always comes first from the physical, to the emotional and the mental – as a yogi we are asked to approach each and every situation with a loving heart. The heart of yoga teaches we are all equal , we are one. There is no separation. When we see another suffer we extend our hands. We move through this life in awareness and presence of mind, of body and spirit. Taking care of our Planet each day. Making choices which support our chosen path of yoga on and off the mat. It is often said that as we do one thing , we do everything. Gandhi was a great example of compassion , empathy and non harming. Embrace love. Learn to love deeply. Show respect to all life on Earth. Reach when others withdrawal. When you look around and everything you see is love, when you see yourself in everything and all beings violence won’t stand a chance- it disappears. Re-evaluate your choices in this big life opportunity and see in what ways you are contributing to violence in this world ? Directly or indirectly. Is anyone or any being being harmed because of your existence? if so Patanjali asks us to re-evaluate and as yogis we have the responsibility to raise above and learn from our mistakes – to use this life as a canvas for your masterpiece. May we all be inspired by Ahimsa and all the eight limbs of this magnificent practice #YOGA may we live in light ✨ may we live in love. These next weeks I will explore the eight limbs of yoga – I hope you can join me on the path of light ✨✨ unfolding each limb through the mystery of life as is … #patanjali #ahimsa #yoga #planetearth #plants #donoharm #loveallanimals #loveall #practice #forgive 🙏🏼☀️💛 #planetearth #shantipeaceproject

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Low-Back Pain & Yoga

An estimated 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time. I have suffered from lower back pain this past year and it hasn’t been easy. I see so many of my yoga students suffering from back / lower back pain. As do many people in the world. I do not believe all yoga is recommended!  However, with the right postures (asanas) right yoga sequence, correct breathing, a lot of patience – practicing a more gentle yoga can and is so helpful. What has really worked for me, besides certain yoga sequences and poses, is pilates – mat pilates with the right teacher, as well as fundamentals with the reformer (pilates) with lot’s of modifications. The experience of loosing access to deeper yoga backbends has been extremely humbling for me, and yet also a tremendous learning experience. Activities with high impact – anything which has to do with jumps – increases the discomfort and pain. So I try to stay away from those. Practicing each day in Satya (Truth) and with Ahimsa ( non-violence) in the present moment is my intention each and every day. The alternative of not participating in physical activities of any sort … yoga, pilates, included – has shown me not to be at all the right path, for the pain and discomfort increases tremendously – in my experience it actually will worse the condition. Besides the right yoga with a good teacher who knows how to modify and pilates – acupuncture and cupping are my go to, and certain types of deep massages – focusing on creating freedom by breaking scar tissues – although painful it can be very alleviating post treatment. If you are someone who suffers from any chronic pain – I hope this articles serves you! If you know anyone please share <3  Love & Light
A few interesting facts about back pain:
Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.2
Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.3
Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
Check out this NPR article :
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