One of the great things about starting a diet or projects/resolutions at the beginning of the year is that there is so much wonderful collective energy around them. In yoga this determination or passion to persevere is called tapas. The yogic principle of tapas refers to three ideas simultaneously; heat, discipline as well as passion. Tapas comes from the second of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. When we discover something we’re passionate about, we can say that it lights us on fire. Sometimes fire doesn’t carry us all the way and we have to have discipline to carry us through to achieve our goals.
When I discovered how wonderful yoga made me feel not just physically but also mentally and emotionally, it lit me on fire. I became passionate about learning how to teach it to others. And 17 years later I am still passionate about passing on its powers to others. Tapas is why you see professional football players become coaches, it’s why are you see professional dancers become instructors, it’s certainly one of the reasons why you see people like Neil deGrasse Tyson pontificating about astrophysics, it’s a passion so strong it cannot be contained to one medium.
You don’t necessarily have to be great or gifted at the thing you do. I am probably the least flexible yoga teacher I know. That is why I have the discipline to keep working on my yoga poses to maintain my flexibility. However I have such a passion for the philosophy of yoga and a desire to learn, that I continue to delve into the books and teachings, broadening and deepening my knowledge base.
As you can see right here at Expansions Yoga there are many things keeping people passionate and on fire. What keeps you passionate in life?