I chose Tapas as my Niyama. I have seen Tapas defined as, “passion, or zeal for yoga”. I practiced sadhana every day for 15-45 minutes – first, pranayama, then meditation. I also practiced asana, when I had the time. I diligently got up between 4:30 and 5:00am on work days, around 6:00am on non-work days. I practiced before sunrise, while my space was still relatively silent.
I noticed immediately that I was able to disengage, personally and emotionally, from these situations. It was as though I was a passive observer in a protective “bubble”, not allowing the emotionality of the situation to affect me. It may seem as though I was becoming dispassionate, but that was not the case. I was able to observe the situation without allowing it to enter into my being. It was still just as disturbing, but I did not internalize it and carry it with me. I was able to disengage both passively and actively, especially when a co-worker would deliberately try to engage me in a conversation about a patient that was not pertinent to my direct involvement in that patient’s care. Frequently someone would even start talking to me about a patient whom I did not even know. In these situations, instead of engaging in the conversation, or even listening, I would consciously and graciously excuse myself and walk away. This process seemed to happen organically. I did not have a plan or intention for how it was going to unfold. It was amazing! It was as though I had discovered some beautiful secret that had lay dormant in me for years!
I have noticed a remarkable shift in both my attitude and energy at work. Where I used to leave work virtually every day emotionally drained, I now feel like I have my emotions and my energy intact when I walk out the door. Where I’ve thought that it was my patients who were sapping my prana, it turns out it is my co-workers. I realize that, although I cannot change how other people think, act or speak, I can change how I allow it to affect me.