Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yoga Sutra on "Practice"

...time to continue on with my journey through the Yoga Sutra...

Sutras 1.17-1.19 describe the stages of samadhi. Even the idea of reaching samadhi seems so far removed from something I could actually wrap my head around that I'm not sure there is anything I could say about it...it's best left to Patajali. :)

...but in 1.20 Patajali returns once more to the subject of practice...

Sutra 1.20 "Practice must be pursued with trust, confidence, vigour, keen memory and power of absorption to break this spiritual complacency."

1.21 "The goal is near for those who are supremely vigorous and intense in practice."

1.22 "There are differences between those who are mild, average and keen in their practices.

-all from the translation by B.K.S. Iyengar

Thoughts on 1.20: The longer I practice, the more I'm starting to get a picture of what my teacher means when he says to "trust the practice". The picture is still coming together, but I'm getting the idea. I'm less apt to get worried or frustrated when I "lose" poses and more apt to recognize that while we may do triangle everyday, it's never the same triangle twice! I'm also less apt to get worried when I hit a low energy patch for a few days. The practice hasn't gone anywhere...it's still there...still doing it's work, just showing itself differently.

Thoughts on 1.21-1.22: This section of the Yoga Sutra is honestly kind of intimidating! I'm not sure I want to evaluate my practice on a scale of "mild, average or keen"! ...nor am I sure that such an evaluation of our own practice is even possible. I consider it a "good" practice if I get out of bed, step on the mat and do what I can in that practice. It makes me glad to know that a practitioner with all the experience and wisdom of Pattabhi Jois said simply "Practice and all is coming."

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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