Yesterday I posted a picture of the 8 Limbs of Yoga. The Niamas are the more personal and internal guidelines of living.
Svadhyaya is the Niamas that speaks about self study. It is looking inside and learning about ourselves. It is being honest about who we truly are. It is through our yoga practice, our times of quiet, prayer, meditation and just being open to listening and watching ourselves that we make discovers about ourselves. With these discoveries we grow and change becoming a better person.
Some days our discoveries are very personal.
Others days its just about discovering how to better serve ourselves so we function better.
Last Wednesday I discovered a way to make myself work through my Wednesday evenings with more energy. I get home from work on Wednesdays around 6PMish. I give some attention to Neely (my cat) before putting away my work stuff and starting my usual Wednesday night house cleaning. Well...usually I find myself on the recliner, watching TV...feeling slow, and tired. Eventually, I get up and slowly and with great remorse, begin my cleaning. Meanwhile I munch on snacks, as I wait to eat with my husband at 9:30PM (ouch!). Last week, I did sit in the recliner, but this time with a good snack and my swim lesson and yoga lesson outlines (and the cat). I ate and worked on my lessons. When I had finished, I was relaxed, rested and nourished. I vacuumed with more energy and it went a lot faster (and less munching). I even had time to do a little yoga as dinner cooked! Today, I will try the same process as I feel this eating/relaxing/writing time really encouraged a more positive, energetic and productive me.
Please share any of your self-learning experiences
Begin at the top and move clockwise around the circle of images.
Begin in Mountain Pose with a focus on your breath.
Please remember to listen to your body as you practice avoiding poses that cause you discomfort.
Inhale arms up
knee on your mat. Left knee is bent and over your ankle.
In my last blog entry I mentioned Patanjali's 8 pathways or Limbs of Yoga. This picture is a good illustration of the limbs.
Patanjali wrote the Sutras years ago as a guide to living a life of peace and compassion while bringing us closer to the divine. Yesterday I read an article from Yoga Journal called "Path to Happiness." It reviews 2 of Patanjali's 8 pathways or guidelines to living. The article discusses Yamas - how to live with others and Niamas - personal guides to living. This article contain good, basic information on the Yamas and Niama. Click on the green button below to connect to the article.
I read Our Daily Bread* which is a daily devotional. Wednesday's devotional ended in a great verse:
"Write your plans in pencil and
remember that God has the eraser."
So true. We love to plan, which is good, but do so with the expectation that some, will not come out just as we pictured.
In yoga we talk about Ahimsa, non-harming, compassion. Wednesday morning I saw some stories on the morning news that were, at least, extreme forms of Ahimsa.
One of the stories was about a building fire in New York. They showed a man hanging from a window. Another man was on a nearby fire escape trying to reach the trapped man. A ladder was brought up the fire escape. It was extended from the fire escape level below the man to the window below the man. The man who was trying to help the trapped man, walked across the ladder and guided the trapped man down to the ladder. Both men walked back across the ladder! WOW! Talk about stepping out for another person!
I also heard an interview with a person who survived the Navy Yard shooting. This man saw the shooter shoot a friend right in front of him. He could have melted, but ran around the building shooting for everyone to get out, saving lots of lives.
Have you heard or read a story of compassion? Please share stories with us.
Last week in our yoga practice we learned the Fish Mudra. I picked this mudra because it is for osteoarthritis and the health of our joints. It also "cultivates relaxation and serenity." (Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph and Lilian Le Page)
Sit yourself comfortably, relaxing shoulders and allowing your arms to relax at your sides. Bring the fingers of both of your hands together with thumbs extended. Stack the right hand on top of the left with thumbs extended. Hold your hands in front of your abdomen or relax them onto your lap. Relax and breath. Try repeating, "Bathed in waves of nourishing energy, my body moves freely and comfortable" as you hold the Matsya Mudra. (Mudras page 22)
This is a gentle and relaxing 26 minute yoga practice using a chair. No standing or balancing in this practice.
Give it a try!
I enjoy yoga as it brings peace to my life. Teaching yoga has brought joy to my life and given me a chance to encourage others in learning yoga.