Ever since Winter hit and I got my job camping out in the wilderness every other week, I had been finding myself lethargic and toxic. I was eating low quality foods like ramen, simple grains, and cheap cheese all week, and then coming back home every other week to find myself “too busy” to keep up my regular yoga practice, or even exercise. The wilderness therapy job did, however, leave me feeling spiritually fulfilled and in a calm and clear mental space, so when I was asked to create an experiment pertaining to the ethical precepts of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga, I knew that I would like to work with that residual toxic feeling leftover from the job, and the lethargic feeling it left me with.
The Niyama Tapas deals directly with the internal “rubbish” of the body, and heating the body with activities such as asanas and pranayama as a way of expelling that rubbish. It also pertains to eating and habits and breathing patterns as ways to internally cleanse the body. In order to implement this internal cleansing process in my life, I first and foremost made it a point to resist that lazy urge not to get off my butt and move in the morning, and engage in some sort of physical activity (including asana and pranayama) every day. I also committed myself to not eating when I was not hungry, which has been a bad habit of mine for years in times of stress and also in times of celebration.