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Expect some obstacles

When an aspirant enters upon the spiritual life, he naturally does so with great enthusiasm. The first steps he takes are almost always accompanied by feelings of peach and delight. Everything seems so easy, so inspiring. It is therefore very important that he should realize, right form the start, that this mood will not continue, […]

Obstacles to practice

All practitioners, either seasoned or just starting out, are well aware of the many things that get in the way of a regular and consistent practice. Patanjali outlines 9 obstacles to practicing. They are: Vyadhi: disease styana: lack of interest / mental laziness samsaya: doubt pramada: carelessness alasya: idleness avirati: sense gratification / over indulgence […]

Practice Practice Practice

This week in class we were discussing the concepts of Abhyasa and Vairagya, practice and detachment. In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali says that Abhyasa is a repeated effort to try to still the mind. And Vairagya is the practice of detachment from desires. In our Asana practice we put forth a repeated effort but let […]

Ease and Steadiness

This week we were discussing the third limb of yoga: Asana. Sutra II.46 is sthira sukham asanam. sthira = firm, steady skham = happiness, ease asanam = postures, poses This sutra defines asana as a posture that is done with steadiness and ease or comfort. In his book The Core of the Yoga Sutras, BKS […]

The Five Yamas

This week in class we went over the five Yamas which are the moral injunctions that a yoga practitioner should follow. They lead to right living. The five Yamas are: Ahimsa: non-violence / non-harming Satya: truthfulness Asteya: non-stealing Brahmacarya: chastity Aparigraha: non-hoarding, without posessions The Yamas are often thought of guide posts to help the […]

The 8 Limbs

This week in class we were discussing the 8 limbs of yoga, as laid out by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. The 8 limbs are steps to help guide the yoga practitioner (sadhaka) in their Sadhana (practice). They are in a progressive order for learning but are all interrelated. They are: Yama: moral injunctions Niyama: […]

Sticking with it

One of the many reasons I love teaching is because the students challenge me to clarify my thoughts. Sometimes the answers to their questions come easily – like “should the legs be straight in Trikonasana”? The answer is yes. Didn’t take much brain power to come up with that answer. But every once in awhile […]