Yama Niyama Asana Pranayama Pratyahara Dharana Dhyana Samadhi.
In English (my translation): Be a good person, take care of your Self, be aware of your posture, control your energy, withdraw from your external senses, concentrate, meditate, allow total integration.
These are the steps on the path, outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, to enlightenment.
I have talked about the Yamas and Niyamas a little bit, the whole world is obsessed with posture, albeit not always healthy posture, meditation is gaining popularity, and the other steps are pretty much forgotten.
There are many reasons for this. It’s hard to teach the Yamas and Niyamas unless you’re ready for a self-help course with a philosophy book as a reading requirement. Sense withdrawal is the nicer way of saying sensory deprivation and that is being sold the same way tanning is sold these days. Concentration sounds boring, even though we all know it’s necessary and we could probably use it more then ever what with all the distractions of the internet. Total integration is admittedly optimistic, unrealistic, and metaphysical sounding all at the same time, so I get why people stay away.
Meditation teaches us how distracted we really are. We just don’t usually notice because we are so distracted. Most of us generally have the same series of redundant thoughts circling around in our mind, over and over and over again.
In our society, we are so focused on getting somewhere, getting what we want, the “if only” syndrome so to speak. If only we can just get this job, this house, this person, fill in the blank, then we’ll be happy. When we are operating from this mindset, we aren’t focused on the here and now.
Yoga can be the practice of discovering your own inner state of joy, so how will you achieve your yoga high today? Embrace what calls to you!
Yoga doesn’t have to be so serious or complicated. It’s truly a simple practice, but as Patanjali states in the Yoga Sutras, it isn’t easy.
There isn’t an identical path for any of us. We’re all unique. Individually perfect or perfectly imperfect. What really matters is how you feel during and after your yoga practice.
Hello from YogaDownload!
We have 4 exclusive new classes to share with you, going back to the core teachings of yoga. The 2000 year-old Sutras (Sanskrit for “threads”) are timeless truisms that brings you closer to your practice.
The classes are all offered by the same teacher – and you need to meet this person. She gives us butterflies. Everyone from Ana Forest to Rodney Yee to Yoga Journal has sung her praises. Her books are bestsellers, her workshops sell out all over the world and millions of people adore her music. She is a true yoga scholar, an expert on the sutras, mythology, the anatomy of the body and the creative expression of the practice.
I recently graduated from my 500-hour advanced teacher training. The experience was an intense and deep study not just of yoga but also of myself and my relationship with yoga. As I’ve shared with some of you in my classes, it seems that we are always just beginning our journey – the moment we identify an end-goal is the moment we stray from the very path that will help us achieve it.
Some of you have encouraged me to share some of what I wrote in my lengthy 7,600+ word final exam essays. As I went back and reviewed what I wrote, I found the perfect piece to share with you today. There are so many times I reference the Yoga Sutras in my blog posts, but I’ve never really talked through them in a full dedicated post, so now is the time!
The Yoga Sutras say that our movements should be steady and sweet – and they’re right. But that doesn’t make it easy.
As the world becomes more complex, the universe is sending subtle signals to simplify.
It seems a lot of the world is starting to question the complexity we’ve built into our ways of doing things.
I started thinking about this theme and remembered a quote from the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali Swami Satchidananda:
You have all these things to equip yourself to serve others. You must have a bed to rest in to feel refreshed in the morning, to go out to serve others. You must eat to have enough energy to serve others. So you do everything with the idea that you are preparing yourself to serve others. So, even your Yogic meditation becomes a selfless action. That is what is meant by “Even with God do not have attachment”. This non-attachment alone is enough to change your entire life into a joyful one.
Before there were yoga asanas, before there were yoga mats, before there were even yoga teachers, there was ahimsa, the very first sutra in the original philosophy of yoga, and this is the core of anyone’s yoga practice, whether they realize it or not.