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Athena: 8 limbs of yoga

We learnt about the 8 limbs of yoga during YTT theory class and I could see how lessons in
yoga can be applied to our life off the mat.

Just thought to pen down my thoughts about how some of the yamas and niyamas apply
to what I am trying to be mindful of in my life:

1) Yama – Aparigraha (non-hoarding)
I constantly try to be mindful about letting go of lingering emotions in whatever I do,
especially the part about holding on to negative talks. Questions like “what does this
persona think of me at work?” or inner self doubt thoughts like “can I really do this?” come
to me and I would immediately try to move it aside. It is important that we accept we have
these thoughts, but it shouldn’t be tying us down and prevent us from moving forward with
Sometimes choosing to let go the negative energy and focus my energy on doing my best is
the best thing I can do for the people around me and myself.

2) Niyama – Ishwaradpranidha (surrendering control of the situation after trying my
This is one niyama that I have been practicing and reminding myself on and off mat.
Sometimes when we can’t seem to get into a certain pose on the mat and we keep on trying
and trying till we get frustrated. I have to remind myself or the people around me that it is
important we look at a bigger picture on what we are trying to achieve here. Is it really the
final pose or the feeling of achievement we are trying to get when we get into the peak
pose. Know that every step forward is an achievement itself.

We try our very best to achieve what we want, but life is not a sprint, it is a marathon that
requires effort and practice. We need to allow ourselves to be ok with failures to learn and
one day, trust that we will be able to reach our goal naturally without having to control the
situation by force and hurting ourselves in the process of it.

3) Niyama – Svadyaya (self-reflection)
The importance of self-reflection. What makes us a better person is the ability to be able to
learn from our mistake and not repeat it again.

It is a constant reminder for us not to get sucked into the negative energy when an
unfavorable situation arises. Yes, we can harness all the energy to resolve that situation at
that point in time, but after the situation ends, we have to take time to reflect and see what
happened. Perhaps it is not about the situation sometimes, perhaps we need to reflect on
how we responded to the situation and how we eventually move on from it. Do we repeat
the same mistake again?

Feb’20 Weekend YTT