Committed Practice In August, I introduced Yoga Sūtra-s (YS) I,1, where we learnt the importance of committing to our practice of Yoga as both a teacher and a student.
How to Get to that State Called Yoga – Centre the Mind In September, we looked at Yoga Sūtra-s (YS) I,2, which tells us how to achieved nirodhaḥ (a centred, grounded mind-body) so that we can experience that state called Yoga beyond the mind-body. In that state, we are comfortably resting in our true natures as awakened Souls or Seers (Draṣţa, YS 1,3).
How to Stay There – Practice and Detach In October, we explored YS I, 12, abhyāsa (letting in new practices) and vairāgyam (letting go of old habits) that are standing in our way of being tannirodhaḥ (strongly centred and grounded). This month, we have learnt how to stay in that grounded state.
The Result of Practice/Detachment - Transformation For the next three weeks, we will be exploring what the transformative process of Yoga looks like over time (YS I, 17-18).
Patanjali’s Yoga Sūtra-s (YS) I-17 Vitarka (basic) vicāra (refined) ānanda (joy) asmitā (strongly linked)-rūpa (what you want to learn) anugamāt (one follows another/step by step) samprajnātaḥ (deep Self-knowledge/wisdom/mastery)
Motivated by the Joy of learning, we will gradually progress from basic to refined levels of understanding until we attain Self-mastery.
Transformation Takes Time As an educator, this YS summarizes the transformative process of mastering anything. We have already committed ourselves to learning something new (our practice – abhyāsa) and have let go of any distractions that have been getting in the way (vairāgyam). As a result of our committed practice, we have started to transform. We have started to understand our-Selves. But even this takes time. We do not achieve mastery overnight. It happens step by step.
Many years ago, my teacher DV Sridhar, pulled me aside and said, “I know you want Enlightenment now. I know you want to be Free of your suffering today. But you have to go through the process of transformation. You can’t expect to get there today. It will take time!”
The other day, I said to my incredible Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Eric Posen, “Do you think once I get through this layer of healing, that I will be done my major work? You do you think I have gotten down to the root of all my deepest pain?” He wisely replied, “Yes, you are healing deeply, but do you think we are ever really done? You will keep on experiencing suffering and pain. That is part of the life experience. But hopefully, you will get stronger step by step, and more able to face the challenges that Life is giving you with more Grace.”
Over the years, I have gained more patience with myself as I learn my many life lessons. I often say, “I don’t have time for perfectionism anymore.” I have learnt to be less hard on myself with more patience as I learn how to be more authentically who I really am in the world and in my life. I can’t expect to get to mastery over my mind and body overnight. To achieve that Freedom of Spirit I seek, I will have to go through the process, the fires of transformation, step by step.
Yoga Sūtra Question What are you learning about yourself right now? Can you find the patience to go through the process step by step?