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Tapasya - The art of sacrifice

 - 
Duration: 
39 mins

When we look at the origin of the word sacrifice it comes from two Latin words and literally translates to mean “to make holy”. It is commonly interpreted as giving something up for the sake of a better reward, sometimes with some kind of selfless intention.

Although sacrifice is often seen in a religious context or misinterpreted as something painful, it can actually be a powerful way to instill discipline and willpower and to train our minds to focus on something important. 

For example when you try to take on (or break) a habit we “sacrifice” our nail biting, smoking, gluten or tv time for something better. Usually improved health, time efficiency, increased energy levels, less stress, etc.

Tapasya is essentially the yogic description of the word sacrifice. Tapasya is where we take on a spiritual discipline eg. a certain number of mantra repetitions per day, or a specific asana practice, reading scriptures, or even yoga Nidra and knowing that there will be a certain result at the end. Many people chant the Gayatri mantra in order to bring light, discipline, and focus to the mind, or you might take on the Seat of Compassion sequence once a day to increase feelings of selfless love and generosity in your life.

Dopamine and its Role in Tapasya

As part of this week’s session, we explore this fascinating neuro-transmitter which is one of the primary motivators that drives us to act. It is the biochemical process by which our desires and wants become manifest. 

So, if you think longingly of your favourite sandwich - it is the dopamine spike and subsequent drop that will drive you to go get the sandwich! Believe it or not, this system motivates us to do pretty much everything from making our morning tea through to sustaining three years of university study.

Understanding how dopamine works will help you to raise awareness of what is often an unconscious process, break habits that are not helpful, and create more balance and harmony in your mind.

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Members' comments:

13 Oct, 2023
JuliaS's picture
JuliaS
Love the wisdom. Thanks Anouschka.
12 Aug, 2023
MartinR's picture
MartinR
My word good stuff, practical techniques, so well explained. So much gained by listening to your video including the realisation that I had lost something of the all important “ so that “ aspect, kind of lost a bit of that goal aspect in some areas of my life. Thank you Anouschka.
18 Jul, 2023
juliehooper28's picture
juliehooper28
What an exceptional talk. You’ve given me much to take in, think about and to practise. This wisdom is sadly ignored in our fast paced, self gratification orientated world and it breaks my heart to see its influence on my grandchildren. My goal is to be more conscious of this teaching and practises in my own life and be an example to my children and grandchildren. Moaning/ subtly criticising about how they live today doesn’t work. My light, my kindness and tenderness, and what I do and don’t do, are the “ so that”, that being to allow them to see another way to “be”. Thank you so much Anouschka for the effort you’ve put into this teaching. I will carry it into my life. ❤️
16 Jul, 2023
MoniqueH's picture
MoniqueH
very powerful listening to your session, I really enjoyed the neurotransmitter, how dopamine works in the brain. Thank you so much for the insights you shared with us. Well done Anouschka.

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