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Here we are in July. It’s kind of incomprehensible.

Last time we touched on our journey through the first two of the eight limbs of yoga, we discussed tapas, turning up the heat, the third niyama.

And oh how the heat has been turned up.

Eyes have been opened. Hearts have been broken. People are dying. Others are lying. And so it has been for far too long.

Humans have great capacity. We can both cause great pain and withstand it. We can be oblivious to reality, and we can look it straight in the eyes. The looking is a practice. Which leads us to the next niyama: svadhyaya. This Sanskrit word can be translated as meditation (dhyana) on one’s self (sva), or self-study, self-reflection.

Let’s look at this in relation to tapas, on and off the mat. When we sit in chair pose or stand in Warrior I, we learn to be in the heat, breathe, and see what arises. We begin to notice our habits, our attachments, our aversions. Then, in our everyday life, when the heat gets turned up, instead of burning we observe, inquire, and gain insight from what we experience in the fire. From inner awareness we gain greater capacity to see what exists outside of our individual selves.

What will help you move closer to yourself this month? What inquiry will allow you to look beneath habit and conditioning to contact your True Self?

To support you on this path, we have several carefully chosen Series to support deep inner reflection. Read on to learn more.

Wishing you a great July!

Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer, 8 Limbs Founder and Director of Education

Neighborhood Studios