Sunrise-030714

“Lent is not just about giving up our favorite food. But its about going further and giving up things like hatred and unforgiveness.”
~ Amanda Job
I was up early this morning, and gave myself extra time to sit outside on my bench of ponderance. The sunrise, coming earlier and earlier, actually caught me by surprise today! I had to run to get my camera. But what a beautiful morning it is.Yesterday, I happened upon a post by a good yogi friend of mine, and fellow teacher trainee. She posted: “I’m giving up drinking alcohol for Lent.” A little bit later down, she admitted to this not being completely truthful, as she rarely drinks anymore.

But …. Now get this …. she then posted “I have nothing left to give up.”

Wow, I thought!! I wish I could say that !!!!!!

My friend is quite a perfectionist. And a person of truly marvelous character. But truly, nothing?? This got me to thinking this morning as I watched this beautiful sunrise burst into rays of shining light.

I’ve always been a bit fascinated with Lent, which began this past Wednesday – March the 5th – or on Ash Wednesday.

“It’s an approximately six-week period in which Christians give up something, usually rich food, to show penitence for the death of Jesus and to emulate his example.”

Now as an aspiring yogi, working towards God Realization, my friend won’t just be giving things up for 6 weeks. She will be in constant awareness of the Yamas and Niyamas – or restraints and observances – necessary to reach our goal of deepening our understanding and connection with the Divine Spirit.

So while many this month may be forgoing meat, cutting out chocolate, giving up booze and cigarettes, etc., I’d like to offer some deeper restraints that could be observed for Lent, based on the yogic principles.

I thought I’d be able to make this a short, quick post. However, as I read through my notes from my yoga teacher training, I recall that each of these topics deserved a good hour or two of contemplation ….

So, to get us started on this topic which I never did finish last year …

The Yamas, or restraints regarding universal morality, are:
1) being harmful or showing lack of compassion towards any being
2) lying
3) stealing
4) overindulgence of the senses
5) hoarding wealth

The Niyamas are personal observances:
1) purity or cleanliness
2) modesty and finding contentment with what we have
3) disciplined use of our energy
4) practicing self-inquiry or self-study
5) celebration of the spiritual, or making time to attune to the omnipresent force larger than ourselves

It is said that “By firmly grasping the flower of a single virtue, a person can lift the entire garland of yama and niyama.”
~ Swami Kripalu
Think about each of these virtues, and maybe ask yourself …
What could you REALLY give up for Lent?I’ll be exploring each one in further depth over the next 10 day … .

I hope this next Series will be truly thought provoking

TGIF …. Enjoy!

 

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How Yoga Creates a Change of Attitude

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