Today marks the 8th anniversary of my yoga classes in Kamogawa. They started as a twice weekly practice at Satoyama Design Factory and later become a daily class first in person and then via Zoom. I never set out to be a yoga teacher, but I am glad that I did. My practice has created a lot of good in my life – consistency, physical stability, mental toughness, and community – and I hope it has been of use to others, too.
To mark today’s anniversary, we turned to yoga theory by reviewing the yamas and niyamas, the first two of Pantanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga.
“Yamas and Niyamas in Hands” is a 45 minute class that connects these foundational yoga concepts with our hands. It fits in with this month’s focus on joints with a lot of good wrist stretches and finger movements. You can have a look at the sequence in this PDF:
As we went through each of the yamas and niyamas I tried to explain with real-life examples. Amhisa, non-harm, might be realised by not killing spiders or by using diplomacy rather than armed conflict. When I got to Tapas, self-discipline, I suggested “no chocolate for breakfast” was a good example.
Because if I could, I’d definitely eat chocolate for breakfast. With Tod away in Tokyo this week, I am more likely to slip into bad eating habits so I truly need to practice TAPAS in this area. But when I remembered that I bought chocolate granola last week, I laughed out loud. Self-discipline not required – I can have chocolate for breakfast after all.
It is very dark chocolate and not as sweet as I expected. But it’s definitely not for every day. I will maintain discipline and have something else for breakfast tomorrow.