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Day 5 – From looking outwards to focusing inwards

By January 15, 2020 No Comments
This one is pretty fitting today actually as I wrote it on my birthday earlier in the month. I usually find that, in partnership with the new year encourages me to checkin; to think about wether I am being true to myself, am I enjoying what I do, am I surrounding myself with the right people, am I living life with a passion and purpose? I am encouraged to think about the year ahead and make sure its balanced out in terms of work, play, giving, learning, travel and down time.
So with that in mind, let’s go.
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THE NIYAMAS – ‘Observances’
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Again there are 5 here. If we say that yesterdays Yama’s were looking outward at our interactions with those and the world around us, then these guys focus inwards. Encouraging us to look at how we act, treat and care for ourself.
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Saucha // Purification
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Translated to ‘cleanliness’. This doesn’t just mean physically, instead we want to recognise negative thoughts and ‘bad habits’ that we have allowed to hang around. We want to get rid of these so we have more space and ‘less clutter’. Space for creativity, positivity and enthusiasm. And in terms of yoga – the less shit we have going on before we get on our mat the more we can enjoy our physical practice.
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Santosa // Contentment
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“I will be happy when… If I just get… When I reach…” This one is a biggie. We live in world where we are always striving for more, to reach the next level, to out do ourselves. This Niyama encourages us to have gratitude for where we are right now and what we have achieved. Encouraging us to sit with contentment so we can move forward in life with more grace and less haste.
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Tapas  // Discipline, Heat, Burning Enthusiasm 
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This can be described as the passion and burning enthusiasm that fuels our sense of purpose. When our practice gets physically tough or the silence of meditation poses a challenge we have to call upon our self – control. The drive, heat and energy of tapas is what gets our heart racing, ignites our senses and pushes us to achieve personal growth. Without it life might be a little sluggish!
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Svadhyaya // Study
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Encouraging self study highlights the good and the bad; what harms us and what serves us. That way we can make better decisions in the future and work towards a clearer, more content version of our self. This Niyama also encourages us to learn more and explore more; to delve into what inspires us and fascinates us. Today we are in a wonderfully fortunate position – because of the internet we have immediate access to infinite information and our ability to travel has never been so extensive. Just take a moment to appreciate that one…
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Ishvara Pranidhana // Dedication to God/Master
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Okay so a lot of us have moved away from strict religion – therefore ‘Ishvara Pranidhana’ surrendering to God can be a little like waoooo. And I get it. All we need to do here is respect and acknowledge that yoga came from a spiritual practice – God can translate to master, teacher, guide or higher power. We don’t have to go things alone – be open to guidence, seek support, let life lead you. Dedication to something or someone greater than ourselves encourages us to let go of our expectations, simply strive to do our best, to be authentic, to embrace and enjoy fully.
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In doing so we will ease worry, reduce stress and open ourself up to greater empowerment.  Sounds good to me.
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Can we relate to and practice these?
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Jess
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XO

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