Lazy Yoga: Tapas and Willpower

After my post the other day I decided to look into Tapas a bit more.  I remembered that I have a copy of a Yoga Masters training manual that I purchased a few years ago.   I opened it up to see what they had to say about Tapas.  I should not have been surprised to find an entire chapter about it.  Reading through it I found that most of the chapter talked about the lack of willpower that modern Americans have.  Its a hard topic for me.  I now am planning to add Willpower to my list of things to work on along with Complacency.  It gives me a great deal to think on, maybe I should start meditating so that I can focus on it.  One thing at a time though, back to my daily getting on the mat goal.  It’s a good tapas, and I need to start somewhere.  The following is the Sutra that was referenced in the chapter.  I wanted to keep track of it for future reference.

43. The perfection of the powers of the bodily vesture comes through the wearing away of impurities, and through fervent aspiration.

This is true of the physical powers, and of those which dwell in the higher vestures. There must be, first, purity; as the blood must be pure, before one can attain to physical health. But absence of impurity is not in itself enough, else would many nerveless ascetics of the cloisters rank as high saints. There is needed, further, a positive fire of the will; a keen vital vigour for the physical powers, and something finer, purer, stronger, but of kindred essence, for the higher powers. The fire of genius is something more than a phrase, for there can be no genius without the celestial fire of the awakened spiritual will.

Patañjali. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: the Book of the Spiritual Man (Chapter 2 Sutra 43).


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