Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yoga Sutra: Yama and Niyama (Restraints and Observances)

I'm still reading the Yoga Sutras....albeit, slooowly.

Yoga Sutra 2: 30-31 "Nonviolence, truthfullness, nonstealing, sexual restraint, and nongreed are the restraints. The five restraints practiced universally, uncompromised by type of birth, place, time and circumstance, constitute the great vow."

Yoga Sutra 2: 32 "Cleanliness, contentment, austerity, self-study and devotion to the Supreme Being are the observances."

Yoga Sutra 2: 33-34 "If conflicting thought obstructs those restraints and observances, the opposite should be contemplated. Obstructing thoughts like violence and others, done, caused, or approved of, stemming from greed, anger, or infatuation, whether they are mild, moderate, or intense, will result in more pain and ignorance. For to realize that is to cultivate the opposite." -translation by G. Maehle

Thoughts: As far away as I might feel from any of the yamas (restraints) or niyamas (observances) at a particular moment, practice continues to nudge me in their direction. For that, I am grateful. If I look at the list of yamas and niyamas as a list of "How to Be Good.", then what I see is a list of lovely sounding impossibilities. If I look at the yamas and niyamas as a practice that is cultivated (love that word) one breath at a time, then I see the possibilities of change...slowly....with time and practice.

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