Friday, December 11, 2015

Yam + Niyam and Yog…

December, last month of the year… time to look back and reflect on the year that's coming to an end, a mile marker to take an account of all that we braved and accomplished this year. My word for this year was 'Forged' and I did forge ahead in many aspects of my life.
Biggest one being the challenge to take a sabbatical from my day-job as a bridge design engineer and try living in California, going back to school and being a stay at home mom.
It has been an interesting journey this last few months and has given me a lot of time for self reflection and it was interesting that as I was faced with new challenges, I dug deeper into my roots to find my strength.

Yoga was a part of my school curriculum growing up and just like Physical Education, we had periods for Yoga as well and cringed about it too. But at some point it became an integral part of my being and now when I struggle to find my balance, I look back at some of those basics of Ashtang yog.

Of the Eight (Asth) section (Ang) of yog, the two most basic ones are
Yam + Niyam = Intention and discipline
And in all honesty it doesn't matter if you are a yogi or not, the only way to really get started on anything would be to set an intention and then follow it through with discipline. It just so happens that I relate these life practices with yoga, but everyone draws inspiration from what they could relate to in their own experience.

I've written this many time in this blog but cannot help reiterate that as a kid, I underestimated the power of discipline and thought it is just a tool that parents and teachers use to access control over their kids. But now in absence of an outside the home job, I often find myself struggling with even maintaining a daily routine and go back to those words:
Yam and Niyam… even when no body is telling you to do it; and you are not getting paid for any of the work that you do for yourself; your livelihood doesn't depend on it; but one has to keep forging ahead through life.

On a different but similar topic, I often hear 'Indians' cringe about 'West' adopting YOG and turning in into a commercial and marketable 'Yoga'. Well, even though I have my own practice that I can follow without going to a studio, I love the predictability of Yoga studio every few miles in cities all across America. It is how I am beginning to find my tribe in California. It is how I find my routine even when I don't have the motivation to keep my discipline.

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