A New Year, Affecting Change

Welcome to the new year! First, an ontic note: there are many exciting changes to my schedule, largely because the page was hopelessly out of date. It has been updated, and there are a few new classes that will be of interest to many of you. Check it out!

And on to thoughts of more ontological significance…

As most people have heard, the “end of the world” was in December. But in less sensationalist circles and more spiritual communities, December 21st has long been talked about as the beginning of a shift in consciousness. I look back at my life leading up to the 21st and see just what was predicted; things coming to the end of their cycle, the world in flux, and the 21st begins, astrologically, a time to look deeply inward and affect change.

For me, this has several implications, but the one I want to write about today is my study of the sutras, which in July I began writing about, and then quietly continued without updating my blog. (In my defense, it was summer, and there was a garden to enjoy and a bike to ride, and no one should be indoors with a computer during that time.)

In the July post “Sutras”, I talked in general about my personal history with the sutras, Patanjali and the eight limbs of yoga, listing them out towards the end. As I read through The Spirit of Yoga for the first time (and the hundredth…), I’d stop at almost every page just to consider my life. Then, in my yoga teacher training at South Boston Yoga, we were given homework for each of the yamas and niyamas. And this again made me take a hard look at my life. So this is what I’m doing now, for myself and with one of my private clients who’s interested in learning about the eight limbs.

I started (and am revisiting as I write now), with the yamas. Often described as “universal moral disciplines,” these are five tenets dealing with how I approach others. They are comprised of:

Ahimsa – non-harming

Satya – truth

Asteya – non-stealing

Brahmacharya – sexuality as a spiritual force

Aparigraha – greedlessness

It’s a lot for me to think about all at once, and really there are so many subtleties in each of these that they each deserve to be delved into individually. And that’s how I began – one at a time.

First, with Ahimsa. More in a later post. (It will come sooner than six months, I promise!)

~ by Carmen Celeste Thurston on January 8, 2013.

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