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Finding Calm Amidst Chaos: A Woman's Guide to Yoga's Magic Sutra

Apr 01, 2024

Life as a woman in today's fast-paced world often feels overwhelming, spinning plates — work, family, saving the pandas — the list goes on. The Yoga Sutras are ancient threads of wisdom, encouraging us to strive for enlightenment, which sounds great and everything but at this stage of my life I’d settle for just navigating my day with more joy, ease & a little less losing my shit at everyone!

Luckily for us Patanjali (the guy who transcribed the yoga sutras) included a short sweet yoga sutra which will help you do just that. And here it is, straight from the first line of the second book of yoga sutras: Tapah Svadhyaya – esvarapranidhanani kriya-yogah. Got it? Yeah nor me. Translation . . .


“Yoga in action is self awareness, transformation and surrender.”


So let's delve into this absolute gem of a yoga sutra and discover how the yoga described here is practical, a tool you can use day to day when your 6 year old is throwing a meatball at you (true story) or while you’re stuck in a horrendous queue of traffic, it will help you infuse yoga’s healing magic beyond the mat and into your modern life.


Decoding the Magic: Yoga in Action for the Modern Woman


Yoga In Action (Kriya-yogah)

This is what we are aiming for, yoga in action, yoga that supports you to overcome the challenges that life places in front of you with a sense of grace and ease (most the time) and the ability to reflect when you inevitably (because you’re human) fall away from that. It impacts how you cope with everything, your relationships, your job, the rage you feel when your husband re stacks the dishwasher after you with that look (just me?!)

It's a sense of elevated awareness of yourself, of calm and intuitive clarity about the path ahead.

So how do we do it? Here are the three tools outlined in the magical yoga sutra:

  1.  Self-Awareness (Svadhyaya):

Think of this as an ability to observe how you are feeling in your body, mind and soul, deepening your understanding of yourself, and what you need to nourish yourself in each moment.

  1.  Transformation (Tapas):

This is your willingness to change and grow as a person, to put in the work to make that happen. It’s your determination and resilience, the heat of your drive to change patterns of thoughts & behaviour that are holding you back. Tapas invites you to take small, consistent steps toward transformation.

  1. Surrender (Isvarapranidhana):

Isvarapranidhana, is the art of surrender. It is often translated as “surrender to God” and depending on your outlook this could work for you. I personally see it as a combination of trusting in the universe, believing there is a path for me and surrendering to that path. But also it can mean letting go of the uncontrollable.


Infusing The Magic into Real Life:


  1. Learn to nourish yourself

Embrace the practice of self awareness by asking yourself at the beginning of your day;

How do I feel? What do I need to do today to nourish myself & find joy before I begin giving to everyone & everything else? What’s achievable in this moment or later today to care for myself?

This could be as simple as a nourishing meal, an early night, a glass of water, 10 minutes of meditation, a walk in the fresh air alone, a coffee with a friend, get creative!

I also encourage you to create a list of the top 20 things that nourish you, imagine filling in this blank ……………… nourishes me to feel safe, happy & creative. That way you’ll have a list of go to actions to take when you need them.

Set an intention to become aware of how you feel in your body, the sensations, the temperature, your breathing, your heart rate when you feel unhappy or stressed, so that next time you feel this way you can choose something off your list to care for yourself.

  1. Become aware of self-sabotaging thought & behaviour patterns:

Make a list of all the things you are aware of thinking and doing that are unhelpful to you, not aligned with your true self and are holding you back. Next to each one, come up with an alternative thought or behaviour you would like to replace it with.

For one week keep a note of every time you notice these thoughts and behaviours occurring until you begin to catch them in their tracks!

Consider your habitual reactions to coping with stressful situations, let’s go back to our meatball being lobbed across the living room example. I am a firey soul and my habitual reaction is to SHOUT!! My tapas has been teaching myself to pause, soften my body, breathe, calm, slow down in those moments and make a different choice. I’d say I manage that about 80% of the time (a regular medition and breathwork practice has also made me way less reactive & more resilient to stress) Just having that awareness of my habitual reactions and tools to cope in the moment (breathwork) has changed me as a person.

This is Tapas in action.

  1. Consider the outcomes

Fear is usually lurking underneath our desire to control. Grab a journal and jot down all the things you feel you’d like to have control over in your life. Ask yourself; What is the fear behind my need to control? You can do this anytime a new need to control someone or something crops up too.

Usually our fears are totally unrealistic and just taking the time to be more objective about them can help us to release them. If it is a plausible fear try writing down a list of worst case scenarios and how you would cope if they happened. This will help make you realise that even if the worst did happen you are resilient enough to cope!


Empowering Busy Women: Yoga's Healing Brilliance


By learning to read your body and nourish yourself in any given moment, taking action to overcome ingrained self sabotaging patterns and practicing the art of surrender you are embracing the wisdom of yoga off the mat and in your life.

You have unique gifts to share with this world but you can’t do that if you are exhausted, resentful & burnt out. By embracing the healing brilliance of yoga philosophy, you are breaking through the business of your mind to discover a more replenished and radiant version of yourself. When you get quiet and look within to uncover what you truly need there are limitless opportunities for nourishment.

The Cyclical Yogi Studio is an online yoga membership & community, uplifting women to build their self worth, savour life & connect from a nourished place. Every month we have a new theme. This month you can explore the magical yoga sutra through movement practices, breathwork, meditation and guided journaling. Raise your vibration with the empowering benefits of yoga. Take the first step today and journey with us into the magical yoga sutra!

Cyclical Yogi Studio


An online membership that is a sanctuary of transformation, aligning the magic of yoga, meditation, breathwork and journalling with the rhythm of your unique menstrual cycle.

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