Thursday, July 28, 2011

Second Limb - Niyama

Personal Observances
Niyama means "rules" or "laws."  These are the rules prescribed for personal observance. Like the yamas, the five niyamas are not exercises or actions to be simply studied. They represent far more than an attitude. Compared with the yamas, the niyamas are more intimate and personal. They refer to the attitude we adopt toward ourselves as we create a code for living soulfully

1. Sauca - Purity 
The first niyama is sauca, meaning purity and cleanliness. Sauca has both an inner and an outer aspect. Outer cleanliness simply means keeping ourselves clean. Inner cleanliness has as much to do with the healthy, free functioning of our bodily organs as with the clarity of our mind. Asanas tones the entire body and removes toxins while pranayama cleanses our lungs, oxygenates our blood and purifies our nerves. "But more important than the physical cleansing of the body is the cleansing of the mind of its disturbing emotions like hatred, passion, anger, lust, greed, delusion and pride." 

2. Santosa - Contentment 
Another niyama is santosa, modesty and the feeling of being content with what we have. To be at peace within and content with one's lifestyle finding contentment even while experiencing life’s difficulties for life becomes a process of growth through all kinds of circumstances. 

3. Tapas – Disciplined use of our energy 
Tapas refers to the activity of keeping the body fit or to confront and handle the inner urges without outer show. Literally it means to heat the body and, by so doing, to cleanse it.  Tapas helps us burn up all the desires that stand in our way of this goal.  Another form of tapas is paying attention to what we eat. Attention to body posture, attention to eating habits, attention to breathing patterns - these are all tapas.

4. Svadhyaya – Self study 
The fourth niyama is svadhyaya. Sva means "self' adhyaya means "inquiry" or "examination". Any activity that cultivates self-reflective consciousness can be considered svadhyaya. It means to intentionally find self-awareness in all our activities and efforts, even to the point of welcoming and accepting our limitations. It teaches us to be centered and non-reactive to the dualities, to burn out unwanted and self-destructive tendencies.

5. Isvarapranidhana - Celebration of the Spiritual 
Isvarapranidhana means "to lay all your actions at the feet of God." It is the contemplation on God (Isvara) in order to become attuned to god and god's will. It is the recognition that the spiritual suffuses everything and through our attention and care we can attune ourselves with our role as part of the Creator. The practice requires that we set aside some time each day to recognize that there is some omnipresent force larger than ourselves that is guiding and directing the course of our lives. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

First Limb ....Yamas

The Yamas are broken down into five "wise characteristics." Rather than a list of dos and don’ts, "they tell us that our fundamental nature is compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful.

(Universal Morality)

 Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things

 Satya – Commitment to Truthfulness 

   Asteya - Non-stealing

 Brahmacharya - Sense control 

Aparigraha  Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard wealth 

The Yoga Sutra describes what happens when these five behaviors outlined above become part of a person's daily life. Thus, the yamas are the moral virtues which, if attended to, purify human nature and contribute to health and happiness of society.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dear Son, July 21, 2011

Dear Lance, I am learning so much!!  I love that about life, at every corner, at every door there are new lessons - new beginnings, a new you and a new me....I am going to send you a book of Yoga, keep an open mind - as keeping your mind open is how new information will get in

The Eight Limbs , The Core of Yoga
  1. Yama :  Universal morality
  2. Niyama :  Personal observances
  3. Asanas :  Body postures
  4. Pranayama :  Breathing exercises, and control of prana
  5. Pratyahara :  Control of the senses
  6. Dharana :  Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
  7. Dhyana :  Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
  8. Samadhi :  Union with the Divine

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wow! What a concept!

New House Rule....
Not to do anything that might ALARM Children or Animals

I love that!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13, 2011 Dear Son,

Dear Son,

I got your letter and I am sorry you are so depressed, I really can’t imagine what is must be like in there  
In the darkest of times is when I found that God truly does carry us! 
  I pray for light, strength, and courage for you 
The Footsteps prayer has always been a wonderful comfort to me 

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed 
he was walking along the beach with the LORD. 

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. 
For each scene he noticed two sets of 
footprints in the sand: one belonging 
to him, and the other to the LORD. 

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, 
he looked back at the footprints in the sand. 
He noticed that many times along the path of 
his life there was only one set of footprints. 

He also noticed that it happened at the very 
lowest and saddest times in his life. 

This really bothered him and he 
questioned the LORD about it: 

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow 
you, you'd walk with me all the way. 
But I have noticed that during the most 
troublesome times in my life, 
there is only one set of footprints. 
I don't understand why when 
I needed you most you would leave me." 
The LORD replied: 

"My son, my precious child, 
I love you and I would never leave you. 
During your times of trial and suffering, 
when you see only one set of footprints, 
it was then that I carried you." 

I love you....