Finding the Breath: Applying Tapas

When I committed to remove caffeine, alcohol and sugar from my diet, I knew that I would need to fill the emotional and habitual void with a new practice. Thus I began practicing the four purifications, a pranayama breathing practice, followed by a period of meditation every morning. This new ritual quickly became one of the best parts of my day. I started creating a rigid sleep schedule for myself based on my Ayurvedic body type and found that I was energetic when I woke up and began to prepare for meditation. That was a real novelty compared to the groggy hour or two I had been accustomed to before.

As time went on I continued my morning practice, I found that my energy would vary dramatically from day to say. Some days I would experience a surge of energy through my subtle body channels, nadis, and could even feel great light pouring from my body. Whereas other days, I felt like a lawnmower engine that would almost start, but finally after much effort just wouldn’t turn over. As the days went on and I eased into meditative reflection, I could see some of my patterns emerging from the background of “life as I knew it” and could see how they impacted my energy. The day after eating a spicy, greasy enchilada, I felt weak. After a poor night of sleep, I couldn’t get my mind to stop humming. I was beginning to see, through the mirror of my breath, the impact that these “non-incidents” were having on my energy for life. On days where my energy was low, my ego seemed particularly active and I was quick to find conflict in those who crossed my sense of self. Yet on days where my energy was pure and flowing, I found ease in all my actions.