The past few days I always played with the idea for this post and I'm finally writing it down. I was wondering, how much yoga am I actually doing? I'm talking about ALL the limbs of Ashtanga, not only asana. If you have not yet developed a 5-6 days/week practice, you can easily feel like you should be doing more. But then it occurred to me that it might be good to try and evaluate how much I follow all the limbs to see if I'm doing my best.
1.) Ahimsa or non-violence: This must be my strongest Yama, because I have trained my mind to not judge others. If I think a bad thought about a random person I always evaluate why and usually I realize that there is no reason to think whatever judgmental though I had, it's just old habits slipping in. There are less and less bad thoughts/actions in my life and I do not only apply Ahimsa on other beings (I'm almost 100% vegetarian by now as well!), but also on myself. I'm very accepting of myself, which is so healthy.
2.) Satya or truthfulness: It's going as well as ahimsa, I usually only speak the truth, even if it was easier to tell a lie. When the truth would hurt a lot, I keep silent. When I feel my truth could be constructive criticism for someone, I'm telling it in the most positive way possible.
3.) Asteya or non-stealing: This is the easiest I think. I'm neither stealing objects nor ideas.
4.) Brahmacharya or celibacy: Well, uh, this is the Yama I might never truly follow. Sex belongs to life and when the right partner is around, I want to have sex however often I please.
5.) Aparigraha or non-covetousness: They say you're not supposed to desire things of enjoyment... well, I say chocolate.
1.) Shaucha or purity/cleanliness: I am pretty good at keeping myself clean but I have to admit, my room is quite messy most of the time. Ahem.
2.) Santosha or contentment: I am content with and grateful for so many, many, many things in my life. I am always aware of it. I regularly remind myself of all the gifts we take for granted in the western world.
3.) Tapas or austerity: I'll admit it right away, I own too many clothes, shoes and other clutter, therefore I am cluttered and therefore I am bad at meditation.
4.) Swadhyaya or self-study/study of scriptures: I understand this as everything I educate myself about, not only yogic things. I am educating myself a lot, all the time, but usually it's things I'm interested in. I try to incorporate other things as well though, so I don't live in my filter bubble. I also study my mind and body a lot.
5.) Ishwarapranidhana or surrender to God's will: If I have to classify myself I'd say I'm an atheist, but I acknowledge the concepts of Samsara and Samskara. I believe that all beings and objects in this world are connected. As far as I can go as an atheist, I try to feel the divine in all this connectedness, thus in myself as well.
I'm practicing asana almost every day. 3-4 days it's Ashtanga. My progress is flabbergasting at the moment. Today I received a new posture AGAIN out of the blue, what is going on? It's always so unexpected! I'm now at Baddha Konasana (and I only got Garbha nine days ago). This is a reenactment of my face when my teacher announced it...I was like - whuuaaadd?
The closest that comes to a pranayama practice is my breath during asana. Could definitely do better.
Well, my withdrawal of the senses is quite ambivalent. Sometimes I can shut out things easily, sometimes not at ALL.
My concentration is, due to my current pratyahara, quite ambivalent as well.
I'm proud to say that I meditate about two times a week. This is quite the achievement for me, haha!
What is this?
For a beginner nine months into yoga and only six months into Ashtanga I think I'm doing quite good with practicing the eight limbs, right? :)
So, now it's your turn! It's a fun and honest game, tell me all about your results in the comments or make an own blog post, Namaste!