For the majority of us, cultivating a sense of self-discipline and dedication for the things we know are good for us doesn’t always come without an effort. Indeed, what’s good isn’t always necessarily our ‘choice number one.’ Still, there’s a great sense of reward to be obtained from progressively dedicating more time to making those initially-challenging good habits stick with us.
Sometimes we face this situation when thinking of having a more active lifestyle, eating healthily, or doing more exercise. Indeed, walking out the door on a gloomy and cold evening to run for half an hour is not exactly the kind of activity that pumps one up! And the same applies to yoga, particularly at the beginning of one’s practice.
In the West, for instance, one doesn’t always feel stoked about the prospect of waking up one hour earlier in the morning to get on the mat before facing a full day of work. In fact, cozy and warm in bed as the rain hits against a pitch-black windowpane on a wintry morning, there’s about a million more appealing things that come to mind! And so, some days, getting around the idea of practising just requires a little extra effort, a little extra push to make it to the mat long enough to be able to experience the pride and satisfaction that come along with being there, inhaling and exhaling, feeling purpose and peace of mind settling in.
This is basically the point of the yoga notion of ‘tapas’: to resort to self-discipline, commitment, and dedication in order to practice regularly and thus metaphorically burn away/burn through any physical, mental, and emotional impurities standing in the way of a balanced life, a balanced mind, and a more balanced practice. So yes, pretty much any use of the word ‘tapas’ in today’s language, both in Spanish, or in yoga, is bound to leave you with a great aftertaste!