Teaching Ashtanga,  Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

Yoga Sutras For Modern Day Life: Clap Along If You Feel That Happiness is the Truth

Yoga Sutra of Patanjali 1:17 -Types of objective samadhi are deliberative,reflective,bliss,

Defining the Sutra

Today, we define another part of Sutra 1:17, bliss. For more information on the the first part of this verse and Samadhi, please go to the previous segments of this series. 

Blissful Samadhi is  happiness that comes when the previous form of Objective Samadhi gives you a glimpse of freedom. You than focus on that feeling of happiness,bliss or joy that brings. However, it is important to note that, the mind stuff, vrittis, fluctuations, attachment to thought, is still there, it has just been temporarily suspended. So it is different from the more complete finite state of Samadhi.


Modern Day Application

We all know how to use things and events to bring us happiness. We are easily happy on birthdays, at weddings, when we receive gifts and when we generally get what we want. This form of Samadhi goes a step further than that. Yoga seeks to teach us not to attach our happiness to things. So this form of Samadhi is a stepping stone. It is more subtle then attachment to things and it brings you a little closer to pure happiness.

To get to this bridge state, instead of needing something physical to feel happy, you contemplate something mentally such as a lotus flower or a color. Then once bliss comes from this contemplation, then you sit with that feeling of freedom or happiness.

It is kind of like the asana of Samadhi. Many people use the physical practice to give them a certain feeling and then they try to rest in that feeling for the rest of the day. This form of Samadhi is similar.



Why is it important?

Objective Samadhi gives us a preview of pure freedom, happiness and bliss. This technique can be used by anyone who is willing to do the work.  Blissful samadhi is a great way to start to disassociate happiness from cause and effect to something more subtle. It is a stepping stone to happiness that lasts.


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.

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