Happy June Floating Family,

And what a wonderful start to the winter season we’ve had so far! In typical Gold Coast fashion, we have tumbled into winter almost overnight and begun swaddling ourselves in jumpers and ugg boots. It’s gotten tougher to resist those crispy cold nights and a lot harder to persevere the refreshing mornings. So I’d like to take this opportunity to offer a TREMENDOUS shoutout to the incredible members who have tackled the last few mornings and gotten into their 6 am practice, despite the sultry temptations to stay in bed. And I’d actually like to take inspiration from them this month to chat to you about tapas.

You may have heard this term before while reading a yogi text or during practice. Tapas is one of the 
niyamas we cultivate through the eight limbs of Patanjali yoga. To offer a bit of context, the eight limbs of yoga are like the beautiful branches of a tree that create shape, nourishment and expansion for the growing yogi. Each limb encompasses an important component of your practice and serves to deepen your yogic lifestyle and mental wellbeing. The first two limbs that a yogi must embody are the yamas and niyamas:

Yamas {five external ethics which govern how you interact with the world and hold yourself in society}
1. Ahimsa {non-violence, non-harming}
2. Satya {benevolence, truthfulness}
3. Asteya {non-stealing, responsibility}
4. Brahmacharya {unity}
5. Aparigraha {generosity, simplicity}

Niyamas {five internal ethics which govern your inner duties and habits to cultivate health and a liberated existence}
1. Shaucha {self-purification, clarity}
2. Santosha {contentment}
3. Tapas {discipline, sacrifice}
4. Svadyaya {self-study}
5. Ishvara Pranidhana {surrender, service to greater existence}

After these preliminary limbswhich are paramount to cultivate within yourself, the yogi then progresses through asana{aka – the section of yoga we’re all most familiar with}, pranayama{breathwork}, pratyahara {drawing inward}, dharana {concentration}, dhyana {de-concentration or meditative absorption}, and samadhi {union or spiritual integration}.

Within this powerful framework lies a map for self-development, and if followed sincerely can lead to powerful deliverance from suffering. Tapas, within this model, is the fire that keeps you moving and keeps you committed to your ultimate prosperity. Cultivating tapas can be a formidable challenge at first and is extremely laborious when you’re out of practice. It requires you to consciously choosein every single moment, with a discipline that outweighs your temptations. Or in other words, do what’s GOOD for you, rather than what you want. Don’t snooze your alarm. Don’t procrastinate your practice. Drink water before ordering that coffee. FACE the things you’re trying to avoid and just get them over and done with. Doing this regularly will solidify behavioural habits that not only make you more capable but also breed deep self-respect.

How will you stoke the inner fire of your tapas this season? HOW will you remain disciplined when you are crossed by your ego temptations? I recommend writing a list of possible temptations you foresee and setting out some clear behaviours you can practice when you notice them arising throughout your day. Be compassionate and remember, it’s a practice. Don’t expect to be perfect from the beginning. Please hit reply or comment below and let’s open a discussion about it.
 
With my deepest love and gratitude, 
Namaste Jesska

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