Alignment and Injuries,  Ashtanga Adaptability,  Teaching Ashtanga,  Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

Yoga Sutras for Modern Day Life: A Firm Foundation

Yoga Sutras of Pantajali 1:30-Obstacles on the path of yoga are disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground…


Defining the Sutra:

For commentary on the previous obstacles, go here. Failing to reach firm ground occurs when there is not a solid foundation for the yoga practice to build on.

Modern Day Application

The previous obstacles are all the reasons why people fail to maintain a firm ground

  • Disease- It is hard to focus on yoga when you are sick
  • Dullness-When we live a life that robs us of vitality and brightness, our mind grows dull
  • Doubt- you doubt the practice,your teacher, or the method
  • Carelessness-we don’t treat the yoga with respect or seek to understand its principles
  • Laziness-We have to be willing to work for that strong foundation
  • False perception/views-when our views on life  or yoga are erroneous, we build our practice on those errors.
  • Sensuality-When our attention is constantly pulled from practice and back to our sensual vices, we lose ground


Why it is Important:



If you put water into a bottle with a small hole in it, it will fill up. However the water will slowly seep out until there is nothing. Many times in our yoga practice, we make great strides but there is a hole in our bottle. We were doing handstand with bad scapular mobility and now our shoulders hurt.  We started doing lotus before our hips were open and now our knees hurt. We thought that we were free our our ego, spiritual or enlightened and then someone enters our lives and our calm comes crashing down. We have all suffered from a failure to reach firm ground. The good news is that you can always start again.

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

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