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Arjava Yama - straightforwardness as a path to liberation

There are 10 Yamas and 10 Niyamas - daily values and practices from ancient Vedic Sanskrit texts that help us reach our full potential for personal, spiritual, and professional growth, and to liberate us from mental, spiritual, and physical suffering.  This month we are finding the ways and the best resources to implement a daily dose of spiritual teachings to help us self-soothe and self-regulate, protecting our inner peace and effectiveness.

This month we are implementing the 8th Yama into our life, Arjava.

Ārjava (Sanskrit: आर्जव)  is a great subject for contemplation on all the ways we are not straightforward in our life, with ourselves and others. Watch the short video below I made on the subject. This is a daily practice of uncovering the aspects of ourselves that we reject, judge, and hide from ourselves and others, our 'shadows'. Not being straightforward with ourselves creates an environment for dishonesty, blame, shame, and victim-play, which all lead to inner and outer violence. The most important rule of honesty is, to be honest with ourselves, to be able to face our problems and to take responsibility for our life. To be able to make empowered decisions toward solutions for the greatest good of all. 

Ask yourself:

1. What do I already know to be true that I am not fully admitting to myself because I don't want to take a step to transform that part?

2. What stories of myself do I sugar-coat when talking to others?

3. What growth opportunity am I currently not taking? 

‘Shadow’ on the yogic path is any part of ourselves we are not willing to look at. It is not labeled bad, or wrong, just any part we are not willing to look at. When we do, we bring it into the light of awareness. It's like that junk drawer in our house we just simply cannot bring ourselves to clean up. We lay the groundwork for change by acceptance, and acceptance begins through straightforwardness.

Please join our classes this month  - we'll be considering the embodiment of Arjava from different angles.

What does doing less harm mean to you? What can you commit to today?