Let's talk Tapas this week. It can have multiple meanings and can shape not only how we practice but how we view our practice. That being said, for brevity's sake, we can think of Tapas as heat. This heat can be seen literally as the warmth produced by the body during asana or can be seen as the friction of going against the grain- ie, Self-Discipline.
Both definitions hold merit in our practice but they meet in the middle at our "why". We don't have to sweat buckets or do hours of yoga daily in order to be disciplined in our practice. In fact, discipline should be self-serving, it's a personal practice that is there to aid our growth. More asana is just more asana. The same can be said in the opposite direction, many of us move our bodies too little and not very often. Some of us may need to discipline to get up and get on our mat, to push our boundaries.
The discipline of the practice lies in the consistency and sacrifice to keep us on our right path. We aren't these impure beings that pour our sweat out like Sabbath, we don't need to rid ourselves of anything. We are already divine, we just need to stick to the belief of this divinity.
And that's the rub, it's easy to beat ourselves up (both physically and emotionally) and play the compare/contrast game with those around us. It's easy to give up. But no one is dictating that we must sweat and bleed our way through our practice (not saying that doesn't occasionally happen) but all of our paths are our own.
My personal practice, for example, involves having the discipline to quiet my ego and not force myself to do every single posture offered and to make time for slow practices and recovery. I get so caught up in gains and progress that I can forget how destructive yoga can become if over-done.
Tapas is constantly showing up, to yoga when we don't wanna yoga, to rest when we feel restless. It's the fire of finding balance in a constantly shifting world.