Watching the world begin to wake up from the deep sleep of winter is almost magical and may very well be my favorite time of the year. During this natural awakening many of us find we have the desire to sleep, and eat less than we did during the colder winter months. We naturally begin the shift to more active practices, simply moving and doing more as our energy increases. With the reemerging of life comes great transformation, often times we unknowingly feel this call for transformation creep up within us fostered by the lengthening of sunlight in the day and the promise of warmer weather. With this wet and warming Kapha season upon us (similar to spring in Auyervedic terms) experiencing the axial tilt toward the sun, has many of us feeling the pull to create and work to embrace the changes in our midst. Much like 2018 thus far, March is also unique, in that the spring equinox falls a day earlier than usual on March 20 and Mercury is entering retrograde on the 22nd. With this these energetic changes it is no wonder that some of us have been working more on embracing transformation gracefully rather than initiating it!
So how do we manage the sometimes stressful experiences of change? Practice, patience and discipline, these are the works of tapas. As Yogis we often look to the Yamas and Niyamas as our guiding principals on how to live a more peaceful and fulfilled life. Tapas is the 3rd of the Niyamas or personal practices, it is often translated to heat, austerity or discipline. Through the practice of conscious choice or discipline we learn that being present with this internal friction and discomfort is where the action of change is cultivated. While often times we feel the urge to run or shift our focus when we feel these changes begin to emerge, (unwanted or intentionally manifested) it is best to practice patience here to support this action of change holistically.
Here are 3 ways to support transformation with grace.
- Practice Mindfulness - Choose your practice. Yoga asana (poses), pranayama
(yogic breathing), or meditation. To initiate a daily practice try mantra or a phrase that reminds you to embrace transformation."I grow in the light, I gain wisdom with transformation and peace with patience." If you want to work with a Sanskrit chant use the Gayatri Mantra.
- Patience - Allow the seeds you have sewn with intention, action, and mantra to take root. This rooting action is one that requires patience, you must allow the roots of patience to move deeply into your intention to truly reap the rewards of this work, otherwise just like a young plant with weak roots your work could be washed away with the first heavy rain.
- Discipline - Continue to cultivate discipline in the action of not only mantra but continued daily activities that support your intention and transformation. Just as you would water a young seedling to support its growth, commit to your daily practice, make YOU a priority on your to-do list.