We are beings of emotion and desire. Our emotions can dominate our energy, distracting us; our desires can make us frustrated and cause suffering. Thus, we must constantly be releasing (well, if we want to feel more peaceful and happy!). Know what helps? Fire. 

Did you know that Fire is an essential tool for the restoration and maintenance of our environment? It's true! Burning prairies, crops, and forests stimulates native plants and knocks back invasive species. Blackened, scorched soil draws sunlight, warming plant roots and promoting growth of seedlings. Native Americans intentionally set fires because they understood the connection between burning and healthy grasslands--they knew lush prairies would follow a burn and attract animals. Land responds quickly to a burn--scorched areas come back to life with vigor and abundant flowers, birds, and animals. New growth is now able to flourish and actually slows the spread of invasive plants. Fire allows balance in the prairie to be restored. 

It is the exact same with the precious environment within you! Like the prairies and forests, we occasionally need to scorch the land in order to burn away the "invasive species" of our attachments and negative habits. When we build heat within ourselves, we can set fire to those things no longer serving us and literally destroy them, leaving room for new growth and balance! 

So how do we go about setting fire inside ourselves? It's not exactly the same as just sitting in a sauna or running on a hot day...or even doing yoga in a 100 degree room. Building tapas, heat, to assist letting go is a specific practice. Yoga offers several different methods to do this--you can use specific pranayama and asana to build heat. As well, bandhas are used to contain the heat within the energy chamber of the torso--specifically at the manipura, solar plexus chakra. Another way is to start building our determination and will power--this is a day to day practice of increasing our endurance to remain steady in the face of discomfort and change, and allowance to accept the things we cannot change. 

I recommend regular use of all these tactics for regular burning and clearing! As more and more invasive thought patterns are eliminated, we make room for our true Self to flourish like the wild flowers of the prairie!