Kriyā Yoga

During the residential yoga retreat, we looked at the second limb of aṣṭāṅga – the niyama or personal observances. The niyama contain the three parts of kriyā yoga:

  • tapas = heat, discipline, setting and observing boundaries
  • svādhyāya = reciting/studying sacred texts, repetition of mantra
  • īśvara praṇidhānāni = surrender or devotion to a higher power/avoiding attachment to the outcome of your practice

After a weekend of practice and a journey to the centre of the labyrinth, we all agreed to work with a personal kriyā yoga practice. This entails commitment to a practice that creates some heat and change whilst reflecting on and surrendering to the outcome of that practice. The commitment alone can cause friction. The tapas does not have to be on the mat.

These practices can be more achievable with family, a friend or a teacher to witness our journey. Sometimes we need to negotiate the space and time we require. Even if we live alone, the perfect time and perfect space can be elusive and these practices do require time: to do them, to reflect, to make subtle changes and then repeat.

My own tapas is to spend time in nature and reconnect with creative writing. I am continuing to step on the mat and to chant regularly. I am noticing the benefits of my practice which makes me more resolute to continue. I am also beginning to notice the days where it does not happen.

Most helpful support: a steady commitment to practice with a loving inward gaze

Nature is doing its thing

And breathing

Ignoring the tick tock of human time

I am invited in … slow down, listen, watch

This . is . meditation

Noah’s Hide, Shapwick Heath NNR 23.02.22

@pilgrimrambles @yvonnecattermole

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