Niyamas – Tapas – Yogic Austerity

This practice is focusing on the 3rd Niyama; Tapas – Yogic Austerity. Tapas means heat of positive change. This is said to be the earliest term for the ‘austerity of Yoga’ and the endeavours of the practitioners. Tap means to burn or glow, it includes the element of fire (Agni) that is also said to be the essential element to create life, to heal, to inspire and to transform. Agni is seen to be the sacrificial fire that reintegrates what has been contaminated by being human – life experiences, judgements, bias, our opinions, our ignorance that makes us forget what we truly are and limits us to who we think we are. Tapas refers to inner heat, the desire that leads to ecstatic and creative states, so pointing the Yogi to something positive. 

Tapas usually involves having healthy boundaries with others and ourselves (Brahmacharya) and control of your senses (Indriya Jaya) through physical acts of austerity, concentration and mediation. The results are that the Yogi is left strong, filled with vitality (Bala, Virya) and it states that they are radiantly heavenly (Jyotish) they have an aura that is beamingly resplendent (Tejas).

So why do Tapas, well to fulfil our Vedic goals of life, these are the Purusarthas; Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha.

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Published on May 6, 2024