Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sanskrit: Yoga Words and Wisdom

Sanskrit: Yoga Words and Wisdom
This week I thought I would introduce a Sanskrit word because we teach yoga classes here at Irene’s and also because yoga has a metaphysical component that, on a personal level, I think should never be divorced from its physical practice.

The word is Titiksha.  Titkisha on the surface means discipline. It also means patience, endurance, forebearance, evenmindedness or equanimity.  By bearing whatever comes your way, without letting it sway your mind, body, or emotions in one direction or another you are practicing titiksha.
I usually practice the physical aspect of Titiksha by going out in the cold weather with lighter clothing on and conditioning my body to be as comfortable in the cold as it is in the warm summer months.
Mentally/Emotionally I practice titiksha by doing the following: when someone says something that would normally be upsetting to me I don’t respond negatively and I just let the mind rest in whatever they say.  Then, I do a mental check list and ask myself: is any of what they said true, and are there changes that I need to make in my behavior or character?.  On the flip side, I do not allow myself to be elated by praise any more than I am upset by blame. By doing this the mind and body are calm, both of which the practice of yoga encourages.

I am noticing that as the weather warms up and I am practicing in heat and humidity that my body resists at first.  The mind chatter starts by telling me it’s too hot.  This is going to be awful, the sweat is going to pour, etc.  Then the practice begins.  The conversation in my head continues at first, and then gradually it gives way to the breath of the practice.  I love yoga because if I just breathe, the thoughts subside and it’s just me on my mat practicing.  Titiksha starts with the mind.  You cannot control the body unless the mind first cooperates.

Yoga, when practiced in its fullness, can offer you a new way of dealing with the challenges and triumphs of everyday life.  Yoga can help free you from emotional upheavals and mental stress in a way that is natural, non-evasive and as inexpensive as a few really good books and good meditation techniques.
Try practicing titiksha with effort and determination., I’m sure you will see the benefit of this practice in many areas of your life!

Book Suggestions:
specifically read  pages 200- 205

The above version is one of several that I’ve read It’s very to the point, clear and concise.  It makes sense and gives clear analogies that you can associate with modern life.

Several people in my teacher training class are using this version and I like that it breaks down each sanskrit word and gives you multiple meanings, it makes it clearer and forces you to examine it a little further than the simplicity of the sutra on the surface.

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