Asana or tapas?

A posture is achieved when effort stops and the mind is merging meditatively into infinity.

In morden yoga practices, we call the postures asanas. However, following Patanjali’s yoga sutras, the term asana only refers to a seated posture, literally asana meaning „seat“. This could be Padmasana (Lotus pose), or any other seated pose, with the aim to sit firm and still for a longer period of time. Obviously this is not Bharadvajasana, as in the picture!


Interestingly in the early times of yoga, any standing and dynamic postures have rather been named tapas. Studying the yoga philosophy we might find the term tapas translated as devotional austerity, but literally it means „heat“.

So, how comes that we are calling the postures asanas? Shouldn’t tapas be the better matching term for what our physical practice is today? Well, our asana practice today has at least a similar ambition – through steadiness and ease, reaching a state of moving meditation.

Ashtanga

Good morning practice! 

I played with the 2nd, the intermediate series recently – fuuuuun! While some of the super fancy transitions and advanced inversions are still out of reach for me right now, I was quite surprised that many postures are fully accessible for me and I’am quite close to others. 

Someone said once, if you always do the same, you can’t expect different results. Well, I don’t agree when it comes to the yoga practice. In the Ashtanga method we do exactly that, we practice the same sequence, the same postures every day. And with this slide more and more into a moving meditation. But not just that, with practice, the body opens, we go deeper and deeper into the poses. Once in a while I try a posture that I couldn’t access before and notice that all of a sudden I can. Without even working on this specific pose. The body changed.

And I’m transitioning more and more into the next series. A new chapter to start, exciting!

Life is jingalala!

Almost 6 years ago. Not sure if I should say already or just. I feel both. It’s like another lifetime and same time as if it was yesterday. The moment my life changed. I went to India to learn more about yoga, not just the postures, but the philosophy. I came back renewed from the inside out. Knowing, this was only the beginning. One and a half years later I went again. Better prepared, but once again, I experienced a huge challenge. 

Even if I started teaching yoga back then, I tried to keep any other changes to myself. Not giving up my job or anything else what I called my life. Over the years this became more and more absurd. A combination that seem to not work any longer. But I kept on going. More learning to be able to integrate this better into my life and my job. My purpose was – and still is – to see the change in people. This beautiful transition into a shining face, the moment they show their true beauty. 

The last days I was once again sitting with my teacher from India, listening virtually to his lectures and practicing together. I wrote about it here. A breakthrough when it comes to my meditation practice and once again the start of something else. I feel the change, not that obvious, but something is going on inside. And I love it. The steps on that journey to my true self became bigger, I can see a glimpse of it, I already touched it. I can smell the ocean, hear it, I can feel the salt on my skin. Not ready yet to be one, to be the ocean, but I know I will. Practice is all it needs. And with this, discipline. I know the path, I’m already going. I’m already connecting.

Life is jingalala!