In September 2011, All Elements began offering a “Challenge of the Week”
– a call to live yoga.
The Challenge of the Week is an opportunity to bring our yoga practice from the group class setting at All Elements (the learning ground) to daily life (the practice ground). Daily life continually presents us with possibilities to practice maintaining a calm and balanced perspective in all of life’s situations.
In early February 2012, we completed the “18 Ities” as our yogic challenge.
An “Ity” is a positive quality ending in I-T-Y created by Swami Sivananda to develop the whole personality. Each week at All Elements, we explored each of the different “ities.” Remember, just because we’ve completed the challenge of imbibing an “ity” each week doesn’t mean you have to leave the ities behind. On the contrary, you can continue practicing the “ities” on your own.
The “ities” are practical tools of how we can continue to live yoga in daily life. You can practice an ‘ity’ for a day, a week or a month. Invite those around you to partake in the challenge. Only when we begin practicing yoga in daily life do we begin to really live the practice.
Be tranquil within. Let inner calm and peace radiate through a serene countenance.
Be regular in your daily activities. Establish set times for sleeping, eating and other activities.
3. ABSENCE OF VANITY
Resist self boasting (your position, qualifications and spiritual attainments, yoga practice). Praise others. See good in all. Treat even the smallest creatures as your equal and with respect.
Let your words agree with the thoughts; let your thoughts agree with your actions; let your actions agree with your words.
Be simple in your speech. Do not twist words and topics. Be simple in your dress. Be simple in your food.
Be truthful. Stick to your promises. Do not exaggerate. Do not twist facts. Think twice before you speak. Speak truthfully and be precise in what you say.
Be calm. Bear insult patiently. Behave alike towards friends and foes. Never let anything disturb your inner peace.
Remember that you cannot achieve anything if you are fickle-minded. Choose your goal or ideal and remember it always.
Irritability is the precursor of violent outbursts of anger. Watch carefully for the disturbance in mental equilibrium. Watch for the ripples of anger that may rise. Do not allow irritability to assume great proportions.
Understand the nature of people with whom you come into contact. Adjust your mode of approach to them. Joyfully accept others.
Respect everybody. Consider none as inferior to you.
This is the natural friend of fixity. Once you have fixed your aim and chosen your path, stick to it. Do not waver. Be steadfast. Never compromise on your fundamental principles.
Develop an integral personality. Live morally. Lead a life of righteousness.
Appreciate the good qualities of everyone. Never stoop to ignoble thoughts, words and actions.
Take a broad view of things. Be noble-minded in whatever you do. Let not the mind dwell on little and insignificant things.
Give, give and give. This is the secret of abundance. Radiate thoughts of goodness and love. Forgive the faults of others. Share what you have with others.
In whatever you give be liberal. Have a large heart. Do not be miserly. Take delight in the joy of others, in making them happy. Generosity is a sister-virtue of charity. It is the fulfilment of charity, magnanimity and nobility.
Be pure at heart. Eradicate lust, anger and greed. Be pure in your thoughts. Think of the well-being of all. Be pure in your words; never utter harsh, unkind words. Keep your body, environment, thoughts and actions pure.
As you continue your practice of the “ities,” try to see them in the larger context… as a strength we imbibe, as part of our psychological make up and as our link to nature. As we embrace the larger context of the “ities”, we begin living Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Psychology and Yoga Ecology.
© Copyright 2012 – All Elements Yoga – Gail Seckrettar