Teaching Ashtanga,  Videos,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

What If I Told You That You Can’t Trust Your Memory?

All yoga student have heard these aphorisms thrown around by their teacher:

Be present

The present moment is all we have

Past is allusion

All we have is now

The time is now

The power of now


The yogi’s knew that we cannot trust what is going on in our head. That we often think our “citti vritti” or pre conditioned, non essential thoughts are true. They knew that all we can really go by is what is going on right now. How we feel right now. What we see right now.

When I first saw the Ted Talks video a couple of years back, I was blown away that there is a whole science dedicated to memory and that it has been proven that our memories are extremely faulty.  People go to prison every year based on false memory. People have been pulled off death row because of it.

The two videos below are just reminders to be careful how we use information from our pasts to dictate our present life. The trauma, that happened in your past they you may be building your whole identity from, may be sprinkled with falsehood.  Even if it is totally true, you can make a different choice based on what you want in the present moment.

The first video is short and perfect for people with short attention spans.  The Ted’s video is much more informative and goes into how every time you tell your story, you add details that never happened. This is why it is so important just to drop the story.


Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail shanna@ashtangayogaproject.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *