Majestic wonder. Expansion. Fervor. Inner freedom. Delight. Sunshine.

Creeping out of winter’s slumber, it’s time to re-awaken our mojo for a high energy spring.

A time of renewal.  The season of purification, the rising sun, and a tenacious energy pushing up through the earth after the long winter’s rest.  Bright green and the beauty of life blooming and shining before us.

As our bodies naturally cleanse and re-balance themselves this spring, life can be seen more clearly, even through new ways of thinking and experiencing.

Our vision is refined, both physically with nature, and metaphorically with our own way of seeing our lives, and our old, outdated patterns.

Thousands of years ago, we were offered some detailed and descriptive inner and outer road maps and precepts to the yogic lifestyle from the famous yoga sage, Patanjali. Within the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Yamas and Niyamas offer guidance and insight into living to our fullest potential and our brightest integrity.

Yoga Sutra 2.43: Through ascesis or training of the senses (tapas), there comes a destruction of mental impurities, and an ensuing mastery or perfection over the body and the mental organs of senses and actions (indriyas).

“kaya indriya siddhih ashuddhi kshayat tapasah.”

Re-Ignite your TAPAS this spring.

The niyama of fiery passion, fervor and fierceness.

We not only enhance our physical strength and vitality, but also raise our personal vibration and radiance within the layers of the subtle body.  Tapas reminds us for our zest for life.

Tapas has been interpreted many different ways in reference to different aspects of yoga and yoga philosophy.

It is most commonly used to talk about building heat in the body during ASANA (postures).

The literal translation is the “fire” or “heat” that creates a disciplined use of our energy.

Many have called it a burning desire, enthusiasm or devotion.

TAPAS is similar to a force of passion or zeal that will burn away the obstacles blocking our way towards our goal, dreams and desires.

TAPAS is what we eat, the vitality in our lives, and how we feel in our heart of hearts when we bring our unique and creative mindfulness into our lives.

Once we find the re-awakening and momentum in our TAPAS, we are able to move through resistance quicker than ever.

LIFESTYLE: Every morning reflect on your intentions in your journal or meditation. WHAT fires you up in your life? What are you committed to?  How strong is your diligence to your commitment to these things?  These questions will uncover where you relate to TAPAS in your life.

On a day when your fervor is high you may feel energized, creative and in the FLOW, but when TAPAS is low you may feel a little burned out, uninspired or tired. Stoke your inner flame, re-connect to your WHY, and free the passion in your heart to uplift your body, mind, and spirit.

Everyone, including you, has TAPAS available to nurture. In order to cultivate it, you have to tend to it. You have to live into it.

Try this

Chanting – did you know yogic chanting (or any style of chanting) directly impacts your inner vibration through the influence of sound, and can make a transformation faster than any other practice?  You can chant on your own, or chant along with your favorite artist, or find a local kirtan in which to participate.  

Dance – having your own personal dance party is a quick way to move your energy and initiate moving through obstacles.  Get your groove on and dance it out. 

 Power Place –Is it the woods, the country, by the river or near the ocean?  We can go into nature and shed all that is not serving us. We can reveal our truth, and nature will guide us. We can let go of what is blocking us, and nature will lead us into the light. Nature is a powerful place to recharge, center, and strengthen our TAPAS.

“Nature speaks to those who listen.”

FOOD: Crafting an experience with our food and our health that involves more TAPAS can speak to two main aspects of our eating. TAPAS can be both how we eat along with what we eat.   Eating foods that are vibrant, nutrient dense, and potent will fuel your body.  How the food is cooked, prepared and intended makes your eating more of a self-love ritual.

Try this: 

Include more superfoods in your life.  When we strive to live a superhero lifestyle, (most of us do) with all we juggle, take care of, and manage on a given day, we need to fuel our bodies for optimum energy.  Powering up our plate is the best place to start.  You can read all about my top 10 superfoods (, and be sure to explore juicing, superfood smoothies, and ingredients with the most bang for your bite!  

Focus your attention on the source of your food, the way in which you prepare your food, and your intention as you cook and eat.  Experiment with conscious cooking, chanting while cooking, or making your eating into body prayer.  Bless your food, love your body with each bite, and nourish your body with mindfulness for all that you do in your life.

PS.  Check out the feature issue in National Geographic which is fully dedicated to superfoods.  


Our practice on the mat is a metaphor for all we are embracing in our bodies and our health.  Raising our vibration and our TAPAS can happen in many ways on our mat.  More intention, more ujayi breath, more shine and radiance in your practice just to name a few. Try the TAPAS-inducing pose – Ustransa – and the option to create a specific intention to call into your practice.  Where in your life do you feel tired, overwhelmed or even a little blah?  You can use your practice on your mat and in your postures to support you in re-energizing yourself so you feel more creative and inspired in all that you do.

Pose of the month:  Ustrasana – Camel Pose  

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

The sweet, heart-opening back-bend of the ustrasana (camel pose) – can be set up with either the hands on the heels, toes turned over, or with the feet flat, and fingers to the floor or souls of the feet – it is highly energizing for the entire body, mind and spirit.

Ustrasana opens the heart and chest, which is a great way to expand the breath and spread the lungs to open to more breath, energy and vitality. Re-vitalize your vibration with Ustrasana.

If you enjoyed this article

Sue Van Raes

Sue is the founder of Boulder Nutrition, local yoga instructor, and retreat facilitator. Sue founded, Boulder Nutrition in 2003, and teaches a combination of yoga, nutrition and food psychology in her practice.
Sue leads both individual programs, and on-going women’s groups and retreats both locally and internationally.
Sue’s insight on nutrition and food psychology has been featured in numerous publications, including People Magazine, Natural Solutions Magazine, and Elephant Journal.
Sue’s mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure.
Check out her book Health Wise, and her new ORIGINAL online course – Eat.Pray.Yoga. For Women.

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