It’s has been another frustrating week with the slow recovery of my elbow. When I went for my treatment on Tuesday, the doctor did not do the acupuncture treatment and I was so happy as it meant that my elbow was healing. However, my elbow has been acting up again these past two days and I am afraid it is going to take a longer time for it to heal. I will be going for the follow-up treatment later today and hoping for the best.
Meanwhile, I have been spending my time reading blog posts and read a good one from Yoga Flavored Life about Patient Yoga. Another post from Kat Reiner about Intensity, Injury and Transformation in Elephant Journal about how she has applied tapas in her yoga practice in a completely different perspective after she recovered from an injury has been an inspiration to me.
Tapas means enthusiasm, excitement and discipline towards yoga or having an inner fire to be the best you can be while practicing yoga. Whilst this is good, some of us take it to mean that we must do those poses even when our body is not ready for them. We don’t listen to our body in our quest to seek perfection We don’t’ take the time to ensure that we have learned the foundation and proper alignment of the poses and we risked injuries that will surface later in our life.
Practicing tapas in yoga means doing the asanas with awareness, accepting the limitations of our body and finding ways to work around it like using a block to help us go deeper into the pose and letting go when we have reached our limit instead of pushing through even though our body is telling us to stop. Practicing tapas also means learning to face the challenges that often hinder us from maintaining a regular practice. Facing these challenges takes courage and discipline and will help us in our personal growth.
Tapas is a yoga concept that can also be carried over to our daily life which is having an internal discipline that drives us forward by doing and giving our best in everything we do.
“Self-respect is the fruit of discipline, the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself”- Rabbi Abraham Heschel .