tapas in yoga


In the yoga context, there is a special guide called Patanjali Yoga Sutras. It helps people find inner peace and wisdom. This guide has different parts, and one important part is called the “Niyama” limb. The Niyamas are like rules that teach us how to be good and disciplined in our own lives. They are like a foundation for being a good person. Before the Niyamas, there are some other rules called the “Yamas.” These rules, the Yamas and Niyamas together, help us live a better life and become more spiritually aware. Tapas in Yoga is the third part of Niyama in Eight Limbs of Yoga. In this article, we will explore about Tapas in Yoga and why it is an important part of Niyama.

Table of Contents

Meaning of Tapas

The word “Tapas” is highly important in yoga and spiritual journey. Basically, it is like having strong self-control and working super hard. It is like a powerful inner force that keeps you going, even in tough times. This inner strength from Tapas is thought to clean out bad stuff, both in your body and mind, making you feel pure and spiritually better. It helps to be strong even in hard times in life. So, in simple words, Tapas means having strong willpower and dedication to reach your goals in yoga and life.

Significance of Tapas in Niyama

In Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Tapas is really important when discussing Niyama, the second part of yoga. Niyama is all about how we relate to ourselves on the inside. And Tapas is one of the Niyamas which plays an important part in guiding our spiritual journey. Here, we will explore the significance of tapas in yoga.

 1-Self-Discipline and Inner Transformation

Tapas in yoga means self-discipline and changing ourselves inside. It tells us to have self-control and stay dedicated to our spiritual path. This self-discipline helps us keep going on our yoga journey and get past incidents removed from life that might get in our way.

 2-Igniting the Inner Fire

Thinking of Tapas in yoga is like starting a fire inside you, not a real fire, but a fire of determination and commitment. Yoga says this fire can burn away things that are not good for us, both in our body and thoughts.

3-Purification of Body and Mind

By practicing Tapas in yoga, people clean their bodies and minds. Some Tapas make the body clean, like doing yoga poses and fasting. Other Tapas make the mind clean, like meditation and paying strong attention. Cleaning both body and mind is really important when you are trying to go deeper into yoga.

4-Cultivating Resilience

Tapas in yoga helps us become tough. When we accept hard things and tough situations, we learn how to handle life’s problems calmly and gracefully. This approach is very helpful, not only in yoga but in everyday life.

 5-Spiritual Growth

Tapas in Yoga helps us grow spiritually. It makes us try new things that might be a little hard or uncomfortable. It helps us to know more about ourselves and get closer to knowing who we are.

 6-Alignment with Niyama Principles

In Yoga, Tapas goes hand in hand with other important ideas like Saucha (cleanliness), Santosha (feeling content)and Svadhyaya (studying ourselves). Tapas helps us stick to these ideas by giving us the self-control we need. This makes our inner world peaceful and in balance.

 7-Inner Mastery

When people practice Tapas in Yoga, they get really good at controlling their bodies and minds. This skill helps people in every activity they do, making them feel strong and in charge of themselves.

Tapas as a Transformative Practice

Tapas is a transformative practice that helps people toward self-realization. It is a special practice that can change them in a big way. Here is how it works:


The practice of Tapas in Yoga helps people to become masters of themselves, in both their bodies and minds. When they practice it regularly and with dedication, they gain control over their desires, feelings, and physical actions, leading to a more balanced and centred life.

 2-Inner Purification

In Yoga, when people willingly take on difficulties and tough situations, they make their bodies and minds cleaner. Physical Tapas like Doing tough yoga poses and fasting help clean the body, and meditation clears the mind. This cleaning-up process is really important for growing spiritually.

 3-Igniting the Inner Fire

Tapas in Yoga sparks a strong determination and commitment inside. It means sticking to your spiritual path no matter what challenges come your way. This strong determination becomes like a powerful engine that helps you grow and change for the better.

4-Alignment with Yoga Principles

Tapas works together smoothly with other important ideas like rules (Niyamas) and ethics (Yamas). It’s like the strong base that helps these ideas grow. Together, they make your inner world balanced and whole.

The Philosophical Depth of Tapas in Yoga

 Delving into the Spiritual and Philosophical Aspects of Tapas in Yoga

Tapas in Yoga is not just about self-control or being tough physically or mentally. In this part, we will talk about the spiritual and philosophical sides of Tapas and how it helps you know yourself better and change on the inside.

Tapas and Self-Realization

 1-Igniting the Inner Fire 

In its essence, Tapas is like lighting a fire inside yourself to change and grow. It is having a strong desire to know who you really are and never giving up on getting better.

 2-Becoming Pure Inside

Tapas helps make you clean, not just on the outside but deep down inside your heart and soul. When you choose to face challenges and be disciplined, it’s like taking off layers of selfishness and bad stuff so you can find out who you are.

 3-Getting Closer to Your Higher Self

Practicing Tapas brings you closer to the very best part of yourself. It helps you connect with the wisdom and feelings inside you to learn more about who you are.

Tapas in Comparison with Other Yogic Practices

 1-Tapas vs. Svadhyaya (Self-Study) 

While Self-Study (Svadhyaya) is about thinking and reading to understand yourself better, Tapas is like taking that wisdom and putting it into action. Tapas means being dedicated to living by what you’ve learned.

 2-Tapas vs. Ahimsa (Non-Violence)

Non-violence (Ahimsa) is all about being kind and not hurting anyone. Tapas might sometimes involve making yourself uncomfortable, but you can do it in a way that’s kind to yourself, so Ahimsa and Tapas can go together.

 3-Tapas vs. Dhyana (Meditation) 

Dhyana is a big part of Yoga that helps calm your mind. But Tapas is even bigger because it includes many things like being tough with yourself and controlling your feelings, not just calming your mind.

 4-Tapas vs. Pranayama (Breath Control) 

Pranayama focuses on how you breathe and use energy. Tapas is wider, covering self-control in everything you do, not just breathing.

The Physical Aspect of Tapas

 How Tapas Relates to Physical Discipline

In the yoga world, how we use our body Tapas plays an important role here. It’s like a strong link between being disciplined and our physical selves. Let’s talk about how yoga postures, called asanas, are connected to Tapas:

1-Being Strong (Physical Endurance)

Asanas often need you to be physically strong and have a lot of stamina. Holding these poses for a long time requires you to be determined and disciplined, which is what Tapas is all about.

2-Mind and Body Together (Mind-Body Connection)

Asanas help you connect deeply with your mind and body. It makes the practitioner more aware of the feelings of the body and its potential, which helps in having self-control and a strong mind.

3-Handling Discomfort (Embracing Discomfort)

Some asanas make you feel uncomfortable. It might be because you’re stretching your muscles a lot or trying to balance in tricky ways. But by facing this discomfort, you learn to beat physical and mental challenges, which is a big part of Tapas.

 4-Staying Steady (Consistency)

To get good at asanas, you need to practice them regularly, even if things around you change. This shows your commitment and discipline, which are important parts of Tapas.

5-Mental and Emotional Aspects of Tapas

Tapas isn’t just about being tough physically; it’s also about how you control your thoughts and feelings. Let’s see how meditation, a big part of yoga, connects to this mental and emotional side of Tapas:

 6-Looking Inside (Inner Observation)

Meditation helps you look deep inside yourself. When you practice it regularly, you learn to watch your thoughts and feelings without getting too attached to them. This is an important part of mental Tapas.

 7-Paying Attention (Mindful Awareness)

Mindful meditation helps you pay close attention to what is happening at the moment. Mindfulness helps you to have control over your emotions and control yourself better.

 8-Handling Feelings (Emotional Resilience)

Meditation is like a tool for being strong with your emotions. It helps you face your feelings and deal with them, which is something you need for Tapas.

 9-Staying Focused (Focus and Concentration)

Meditation helps you practice focusing your mind. This is really important for keeping yourself disciplined, especially when things inside you are all mixed up.

Spiritual Growth and Self-Realization

Tapas is like a spark for changing inside yourself:

1-Change Inside You (Inner Transformation)

Tapas helps you grow inside. It is like an inner light that inspires you to explore your spiritual inclination and move forward on the path of spirituality.

2- Finding Yourself (Self-Discovery)

By facing tough things and being disciplined, you start a journey to find out who you really are. With this, you get to know many things about yourself and understand the real purpose of your life.

 3-Getting Closer to Spiritual Goals (Alignment with Spiritual Goals)

Tapas fits with spiritual goals. It is about thinking less about just yourself, being able to manage your actions, and doing things that are valuable for everyone. This can help you discover who you really are.

4-Feeling Connected to Something Bigger (Connection with the Divine)

In a spiritual way, Tapas can help you feel close to something bigger, like the divine. It’s about being really committed to spiritual practices that can give you special experiences and make you feel connected to everything in the universe.

Tapas in Daily Life

You don’t have to limit Tapas to just yoga or meditation. You can also apply Tapas in your everyday life to improve it. Here’s how:

 1-Start with a Plan (Set Intentions)

Every morning, take a moment to consider what you aim to accomplish or how you can make yourself better.

2- Stick to a Routine (Structured Routine)

Have a regular daily routine. Doing things the same way every day helps you be more disciplined.

 3-Face Challenges (Embrace Discomfort)

Don’t avoid tough things. Whether it’s a hard task at work or a tricky yoga pose, try it with a positive attitude and determination.

 4-Be Mindful (Mindful Awareness)

Pay attention to everything you do. Consciously notice your thoughts, feelings, and actions so that you can have better control over yourself.

 5-Look Back and Make Changes (Reflect and Adjust)

Keep checking how you’re doing. Think about what you’ve done and change things if necessary so that you can stay on track with your goals.

Examples of How Tapas Can Transform Daily Habits

You can use Tapas in different parts of your life to become better:

1- Eating Healthy (Healthy Eating)

When you have a Tapas mindset with your diet, it means making smart choices. Avoid junk food and stick to healthy meals. This needs self-control and caring for your health.

 2-Exercising (Exercise)

Include Tapas in your exercise routine. Keep working out regularly, even when you don’t feel like it. Doing this helps you grow stronger and be disciplined.

 3-Work Well (Work Productivity)

Bring Tapas into your job. It is like setting clear goals, staying focused, and working hard to achieve what you want in life and in your career.

 4-Feeling Good in Your Mind (Mental Well-being)

Think about mental Tapas as mindfulness and meditation. Spend some time every day thinking about your feelings and staying emotionally balanced.

 5-Good Relationships (Relationships)

You can use Tapas in your relationships by being patient, listening well, and controlling yourself. Try to understand and be kind, even when things are tough.

 6-Keep Learning (Continuous Learning)

Tapas can help you learn and grow. Set aside time to study and get better, whether it’s from books, classes, or just learning on your own.

Using Tapas every day is like a journey of change. It Helps us in our daily habits with more discipline. When you have a Tapas mindset, you make choices that match your goals and what’s important to you. This leads to personal growth and getting closer to who you really are inside.

Final Words

Tapas is a deep and wide idea in yoga and spirituality. It’s not just about being tough physically; it’s about growing in your mind, heart, and spirit. It’s like starting a fire inside you, cleaning yourself up, and finding your true purpose.

When you begin your Tapas journey, remember you don’t have to be perfect. This Journey is about trying to be a better person day by day. Face tough things, stay strong, and keep going on your path to knowing yourself better.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Q-1-What is Tapas in yoga?

Tapas in yoga means being disciplined and dedicated to your spiritual journey. It is about taking the challenges knowingly to make your body, mind, and soul better.

 Q-2-How does Tapas connect with self-discipline?

Tapas and self-discipline are like best friends. Tapas is a type of self-discipline where you make strict rules and stick to them to grow spiritually and know yourself better.

Q-3-Can people new to yoga try Tapas?

Yes, people who are just starting with yoga can try Tapas. It’s important to begin with small challenges and slowly do more as you get better at yoga.

 Q-4-Are there different kinds of Tapas?

Yes, there are different types of Tapas. Some are about your body, some about your mind, and some about your feelings. They all help you be more disciplined and grow.

 Q-5-How can I use Tapas every day?

You can start by setting clear goals, making a schedule, facing tough things without complaining, and paying close attention to what you do. Begin with easy steps and get more disciplined little by little.

 Q-6-How do I know if Tapas is working in my life?

You’ll see it when you can control yourself better, stay strong when things are hard, focus more, feel like you have a bigger purpose, and make progress in your spiritual journey.

 Q-7-Can Tapas help with stress?

Yes, Tapas can help with stress because it teaches you to handle tough situations with strength and control.

 Q-8-How is Tapas different from being really strict with yourself or punishing yourself?

Tapas is all about discipline, but it’s not about hurting yourself. It’s about making yourself better and stronger through self-control. Being super strict or punishing yourself often involves causing harm or suffering.