Tapasya in Sanskrit means a Discipline, Austerity, Penance, or an Undertaking that one takes on willingly. Usually a demand is laid on the lower mind and the physical body, so that one can experience or get a glimpse of their self, which is beyond what one experiences usually, which is limited by the lower mind and the body. This journey is not a simple one and it is very difficult to sustain alone, without the guidance of teachers and fellow students who are aspiring for the same. When done with rigor, such undertakings are known to create friction due to the resistance or the opposing forces that arise, lawfully in oneself. Tapas actually means the heat generated due to such a friction, and is known to be the source of any transformation that occurs, when the will eventually prevails over the resistance.
Tapaḥsvādhyāyeśvarapraṇidhānāni kriyāyogaḥ||YS 2.1||The practice of yoga consists of self-discipline(tapas), self-study(svadyaya) and dedication to Ishvara
At Tapasya Yogashala, our mission is to support those who want to undertake the Tapasya of Yoga. Be it simply for a strong and healthy body, or for peace of mind, or whether it is for a personal glimpse of one’s own being or Self. Our endeavor is to provide the required support for the student of Sadhak to make constant forward progress, in their respective undertakings, or Tapasya.
We believe that for a true Tapasya of YOGA to sustain, eventually it has to be an effort, that focuses on Awakening the gross body, Anchoring the fluid and volatile mind, and Attuning ones heart to the divine spirit. Such a three pronged effort, aids in mutually assisting the other two, and works as an uplifting spiral.
Awaken [the body]
Our present day lifestyle with all its comforts, automation, machinery and gadgets, has succeeded in making us lethargic by requiring from us, very little physical work. The increasing intake of processed foods and chemically treated fruits and vegetables, have affected our internal systems. Constant information overload from, Television, Internet and phones have given rise to a fast and busy lifestyle, with little time to relax and to connect with ourselves, thus resulting in increased stress levels.
Uncertainty about the future, and having to prove oneself constantly and to keep up with the pace and rate of success, have hastened the onset of chronic ailments, like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease at a much earlier age.
It is imperative to take stock of these facts, and to start focusing back on the body, providing it the attention and care it needs, to be healthy. One needs to work consciously, regularly and diligently, to awaken this passive gross body, or Annamaya Kosha. Ashtanga Yoga, speaks of Asana, the 3 rd limb, which comprises of practicing precise bodily postures. These work systematically, on the muscles, bones, joints and the respiratory/cardio, circulatory and digestive systems.
At Tapasya, with the guidance of a good teacher, in a naturally lit, well ventilated hall, these postures will be taught to be practiced with intention, attention and precision. By having separate classes for beginners, regular and advanced practitioners, we aim to provide special individual attention to every single student, even in a group class setting.
Anchor [the mind]
One can easily observe, that mostly, our breathing is very shallow, and almost unconscious and mechanical. It is said, that our mental activity is directly connected with the mind. The lower mind is mostly known to be churning associative thoughts or is dwelling in the past or projecting the future, and rarely connected to the present moment.
Prana, refers to the entire spectrum of life force, that is present in the atmosphere and within us, and the exchange of this vital energy, takes place through breathing. So, when someone breathes consciously, there is a better exchange of this vital energy and a deeper absorption of subtler particles in the body.
A relaxed but aware or awakened body, supported by conscious breathing, becomes a part of many yoga asanas and pranayama sequences, which eventually helps in As the gross body is prepared, by awakening the body and regulating the natural flow of breath, then the work moves on to the mind, or the (Manomaya Kosha/ Sukshama Sharira) subtle body, by calming, anchoring and stabilizing it. Prathyahara and Dharana, which are turning inward and concentration practices, are the next limbs that help accomplish this.
Dhyana, Meditation, when done correctly, under the guidance of expert teachers, helps to completely quiet the lower mind, providing direct perception of the real and glimpses to understanding and wisdom, which are not usually accessible to the logical thinking, which merely remain as knowledge or ideas, in the intellectual parts of the lower mind.
At Tapasya, we intend to provide special classes and techniques for the regular practice of relaxation, improving dharana or concentration and attention during the practice of Asanas, and guided meditation classes.
Attune [to the spirit]
It is said that the divine spirit exists in all, but usually submerged deep within the sub-conscious, but always alive, waiting to be heard. Its presence can be heard as that meek voice, called conscience, which comes up once in a while to guide us especially when we are torn at the mental level, just using logic or being biased due to other compulsions. When the body becomes awakened from the sleep or passivity, and the mind anchored, free from the constant chatter, A person experiences their OWN presence. These glimpses of inner peace and a relaxed body, makes it possible for the experiencing of the Self, which in itself is bliss, or Ananda.
A mere idea of a surrender in the head alone, or physical work in the way of service to God, without a real internal connection, may remain as just idea or external manifestation, both totally capable of creating self importance and ego, which ever remains a hurdle, when it comes to receiving, from the higher.
Our sages and enlightened beings, have written several scriptures and books, accounting their personal experiences of these moments, in praise, and appreciation of the higher, the supreme and the ephemeral, dependent and borrowed state of our own existence and purpose.
At Tapasya, we will be conducting live and online classes and workshops, on the various texts, like the Patanjali Yoga Sutra, the Bhagwad Gita and selected Upanishads, that reveal the message of these renowned texts.