Studying the Yamas and Niyamas

Uncovering Conditioning with Compassion. Releasing Limiting Beliefs with Self-Study. Leaning into Resistance with Trust.

Through the lens of the first two limbs of Patanjali’s 8-fold path, I have uncovered foundational areas in my life that have been veiled by conditioning, limiting beliefs and resistance. Examining yoga’s ethical practices sets the stage well for uncovering our internal and external worlds – how we face the inside, how we face the outside, and how the two are seemingly separate but far more intrinsically connected, undiscovered, and endlessly vast. This life is a fascinating continuum of experience that highlights the strength, humility, and admiration needed to be a light filled soul living in a human body. Exploring these principles in community has offered me more understanding on how to be in Right relationship with others and ultimately righting the foundation for my own Self-realization. 

Uncovering Conditioning with Compassion

In the past year I have uncovered deeper layers of family conditioning riddled with negativity, unspoken truths, and unshakable shame. Using the first tenant of nonviolence, I can approach this self discovery from a compassionate and loving place. As I have observed myself, I see these familiar (and familial) negative thought patterns play out in specific contexts and relationships. I have caught myself several times when words come out of my mouth in a shameful way, and it feels almost as if I am projecting unresolved trauma of my parents! Becoming truthful with this behavior and speaking to this truth has become a practice of mine. I have watched myself overcome the shameful feelings of even talking about these emotionally charged topics, and I have had some very close encounters to these deep layers this year…released in buckets of tears and many baths. It is freeing to be so real with self. 

Releasing Limiting Beliefs with Self Study

Self study alongside a like-minded and supportive community offered a safe way to explore how my limiting beliefs are coloring my view. I appreciated our business development calls where we were asked to share our limiting beliefs in our community container. It felt good to be seen, and see that limiting beliefs show up for all of us in many of the same ways. Focusing on building my own strengths, I can see my unique worthiness and overcome subconscious doubts. I do not need to compare myself to others in any way, as this is quite a self-sabotaging behavior. I do not need to attach to others to feel good about myself nor do I need to hear their validation. I do not need to grasp for sensory pleasures that do far less to satisfy the void than a simple breath. All I ever need is right inside of me. I am limitless! 

Leaning into Resistance with Trust

I have taken so many first steps in the face of personal and collective resistance this year. I am putting into practice what I have learned, and using resistance as an invitation to get closer to the hard, messy truth of this life. Holding in the flame of tapas is the ultimate reality of my strength. Practicing restraint and boundaries and, in turn,  knowing where and when I need to push myself has offered many enlightening moments this year. It is now easier for me to distinguish what has more vibrationally pure energy, and what may be causing distraction in my field. This has been a dramatic up level in how I live my practice, and feels like an energetic exchange with the Divine. 

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