I am enrolled in a 200 hour Vinyasa YTT program and wanted to share some reflections on the magical book, The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele…
Fear is a common feeling or belief which leads us astray from our Yamas, our ethical yogic path. I have found that I do not always live in Ahimsa with myself or with my loved ones. I may at times loose my patience with my kids when I am finding myself stressed, thus projecting my internal struggle onto them. I am and will be making a conscious effort to understand and acknowledge where I am within my feelings and mindset, and to not project that on to others. I have never been very good at the feeling of powerlessness; I tend to need to have a sense of control. I am learning that it is okay to not have control and to trust the journey.
Satya or Truthfulness is definitely something I have in some ways always been successful at. Being someone who likes to support and help the people in my life, I have always seen myself as very honest, yet helpful. I do not need to nor want to use truthfulness as a personal weapon. Instead, I want to use it as a guiding light. There is such power in truthfulness towards others and towards ourselves. The second part of this truth, truth with ourselves, is finally becoming more complete now that I have embraced my yoga journey and decided to live even more in my truth. It is funny the reaction I have gotten from others regarding my yoga journey. Most are just plain excited for me, but I have had others that said, “This suits you so well”, and “I am not surprised. This sounds like you.” Part of me wishes I would have found this truth earlier in life, but the majority of me knows that this is happening at the perfect time and as it should in my life.
Asteya or Non-stealing is definitely getting to become a bit more normal for me. As being a mother of two young boys (4 and 7), I find that I only tend to give. Give my time, my energy, my thoughts, my love, my everything to my children. I feel this is a natural part of motherhood at times in our lives, but I also feel that for me, this is compounded by the fact that both of my children came into my life by adoption. The adoption journey is full of loss, grief, worry, excitement, fear, love and longing. It is one of the most intense processes I have gone through and each time had literally taken up my every waking moment. I struggled with infertility for years, finally settling on adoption as my obvious choice. I could not be happier or more solid within my family dynamics, but I have to say that this journey was very challenging. We are a very normal family with ups and downs and sibling fights and rivalry. I have been becoming more and more aware that my identity was in a lot of ways based on being a mom. I love being a mom (I still need to work more on my Aparigraha or Non-possessiveness when it comes to my kids), don’t get me wrong, but there is more to me than being as mom. I have learned, fairly recently, that I can also be more of the woman I want to be. I am giving myself the freedom to go after my dreams…go on this yoga journey and embrace all that comes with it. With this I also start to understand my Brahmacharya or Non-excess. When, “every task becomes an opportunity to wonder and be amazed.” I love the quote by Howard Thurman that was referenced in the book, “Ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” This is something I feel I have and am becoming with my yoga journey.
Saucha or Purity is defiantly part of my yogic path. With having small children in the house and all of the “noise” that comes with this, I notice I am continuously working on purity of the mind. I am trying to allow each moment to be what it is. Like stated in the book, I have to be sure to subtract all of my ideals, illusions and expectations of what should be and how we want it to be. Going through my second yoga training shows me that I can complete this and know that all is possible if I have the right mindset. That, of course, does not mean it is not challenging to do this work with two small kiddos, but I am trying to find my Santosha or Contentment. Opening my heart and being in gratitude for what I have. Living in the here and now. “The noise does not disturb you, you disturb that noise.”
Tapas or Self-discipline is a waking goal for me. It is important to me that yoga is a daily practice. Whether it be yoga trapeze, yin or gravity yoga or vinyasa, it is so important to get on my mat daily for both my body and mind.
“Buddhists say that the universe dies when you do because you have created your own little world of reality.” This quote speaks to me. I make a conscious effort to not be so wrapped up in my own little world that I do not take the time to check in with others, to understand others points of view and to embrace what I do not understand. I have a podcast that is about just that…having tough conversations about numerous topics that are thought by some as taboo. This outlet started for me one year ago this month and it is something I cannot imagine not being a part of. Having conversations that my be tough, coming to a mindset that I may have never thought of before and embracing my ignorance about a topic is all part of Svadhyaya or Self-study to me.
The pandemic has projected me into my path of Ishvara Pranidhana or Surrender. I was feeling as the book states that I was too busy feeling cheated or victimized that I could not see another path in front of me. The time I was forced to stay at home and start to re-evaluate myself and my path, created self-study for me. I surrendered my ego, opened my heart and my mind and accepted that I have a higher purpose. “Life begins to nourish and feed us in amazing ways.” That is how I feel about my yoga journey. I feel at home, at ease and at peace with this path. I feel excited to share these learnings with others and finally feel as though I am completely living my truth. I am “falling in love with my own life.”