Defining the Sutra
Freedom can be found in different ways. Not everyone will practice Yoga. However, the practice of Yoga minimizes thoughts that block our ability to be present and help us find Samadhi/freedom.
Modern Day Application
“You can’t achieve absolute perfection on the level of form. There will always be certain limitations here and there, things that have been around and lived inside you perhaps, since childhood. They may continue. So it’s only really through transcendence that you go beyond whatever is there that is unresolved but still carried around within you. If you don’t add to the pain within, then it gradually subsides and dissolves in the light of presence.” Eckhart Tolle
Yoga gives us tools that can prevent us from adding to the pain within. As we begin to get more and more connected to our inner Self, we get closer to freedom from non essential thoughts and suffering.
How we use our Yoga practice is critical to the birth of this process. Paramaguru Sharath Jois, the director of KPJAYI, the official school for Ashtanga, says,
“24 hour practice. Asana 3 hours. Yoga for 24 hours. It is not enough to only do Yama and niyama during asana.”
The process that helps us transcend suffering comes from embodying the principals of Yoga 24/7. Sharath says that when we become a true spiritual seeker, a Sadhaka, knowledge and brightness grows inside of us and this is the purpose of Yoga.
Why Is It Important?
Throughout the day, most people move in and out of mindfulness and presence. For instance, being kind to a Yoga student but cursing at the guy who cuts us off in traffic. Speaking courteously to co workers while being terse with loved ones after a long day of work. Being nice when everything is going our way but becoming cold and distant when it is not. The practice of Yoga reduces the cloudiness in our minds that cause us to become less then our best self. Going back to the previous examples where our emotions cause us to go spiritually unconscious, instead of cursing the guy who cuts us off, we remember not to take it personal. We treat everyone with respect. We are nice no matter what is going on in our lives. Yoga takes us to 24/7 consciousness.
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 email@example.com.