I have recently found myself trying to get in my morning runs earlier and earlier in the day to help avoid the intensity of the sun and heat. During the first part of this week I took off a little later in the morning than usual and, through reflection, discovered something very important about myself and my hotter-than-usual run. The first steps of the morning run began with thoughts of, “This is going to be hot, when will Fall be here?” etc. Resistance to the heat was actually making me feel hotter! Now, I know this logically but experientially it was staring me directly in the face. There are other times I think these types of thoughts in the midst of our heat wave as well – getting into my car in the afternoon sun, while in the heat of the studio as the sun begins to set…and on and on. Beginning to think on this a bit more and remembering the importance of heat and the purifying fire of Yoga, my experience began to shift. BKS Iyengar refers to Tapas as the “blazing” desire to burn away impurities of the body, senses and mind. David Frawley writes about Agni (the Sacred Fire) in his book Yoga and the Sacred Fire: “defining the human species, as fire was the first teacher through which we learned our main arts, crafts and sciences. The sacred fire was the basis of the first human culture, which was the culture of fire.”
From the Atharva Veda (ancient and sacred yogic text): “The Divine Fire
shines from heaven as the Sun. The Divine Fire extends the wide
atmosphere through the wind. Mortals enkindle the Fire that carries their
prayers, which loves clarity.” “This fire of yoga is not a mere human invention but a force of both nature and of the spirit,” David Frawley
Returning to my original pondering…resistance to the heat and resistance as a scientific principle creates friction in consciousness and friction creates fire. Fire manifests through the body and mind as frustration and
as more heat, creating the stress response – and the cycle continues. What would happen if I/we began to view the summer on our part of the planet as part of a yogic practice? The season of purification? What if we embraced the heat of summer, creating a field of acceptance within our own mind and body? Would we actually experience the transformational fire of this time and become more evolved? Would we possibly experience
the fire of summer with joy and expectation; lower the temperature of our emotions and “allow” the purification to begin? This is the essence of the Sacred Warrior – to embrace, allow and unsheathe the sword of fire!