Day 14 of the #purplevalleyyogachallenge2018
~ our asana is Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose), and our sutras were a review:
We have reached the end of Book One of the Yoga Sutras (the portion on contemplation), and the next post will take us into book two, which is the portion on practice. I admit: for a long time, I put off a complete reading and study of the sutras because I felt this scripture was just too esoteric and likely no longer relevant in modern culture - but, I was wrong. I've thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in Patanjali's sutras, often reading them over and over again, until I feel that I've truly absorbed the lesson.
There was one sutra in particular, along with the commentary offered by Sri Swami Satchidananda, that particularly stuck with me: sutra 1.30, which lists the nine obstacles that can get in the way of reaching samādhi. For me, the greatest barriers to my own self realization have (so far) been: doubt, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from the ground gained. That last one in particular hit me hard - I completely relate to losing major ground over the past decade, even (and most difficultly) with my yoga practice. The majority of my 20s were really challenging, and it's only been in recent years, with the love and support of my partner @cam.lowen
, a daily yoga practice, and an unwavering commitment to expanding my consciousness, that I've been able to regain that lost ground and stand firmly rooted in the centre of my Self.
Sri Swami Satchidanada suggests that losing ground is very common, and if we understand that, we won't become so disheartened and give up all together. Here, he offers a gentle reminder that slipping might just be part of the process, and if we remembered that our minds and attitudes naturally fluctuate with our circumstances, we probably wouldn't be so hard on ourselves. He compares yoga practice to an obstacle race, and explains that we're strengthened by overcoming our own set of obstacles on the path. I just love that. *You might be down, but you're not out.*