The 3 Gunas

YS IV.13 te vyakta-suksma gunatmanah Whether manifested or unmanifested, they (Vasanas and Karmas) are subject to the cosmic forces. After spending quite some time writing this theme yesterday, it disappeared into the ether. So instead, this month, I am sharing one of the many informative articles I found online about this very interesting subject, the […]

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The 5 Kleshas

YS II.2 samadhi bhavana arthah klesha tanu karanarthah cha “That yoga of action (Kriya Yoga) is practiced to bring about samadhi and to minimize the colored thought patterns.” —Swami Jnaneshvara After more than a year, we recently completed our first pass of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, focusing on the structure of the system: 8 limbs, ending

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YS III.3 tad eva-arthamatra-nirbhasam svarupa-shunyam iva samadhih “When, in meditation, the true nature of the object shines forth, not distorted by the mind of the perceiver, that is absorption.” —Swami Prabhavananda If you have been following these teachings, here or in the yoga studio, where we flesh them out in every class throughout the month,

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YS III.2 tatra pratyayaikatanata dhyanam “Dhyana is the continuous flow of cognition toward that object.” —Swami Satchidananda The previous step in Patajanjali’s Yoga Sutras is Dharana: concentration or focus of the mind. In the beginning, this practice is full of effort. The minute you sit down and close your eyes, the monkey mind starts jumping

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photo credit: Shan Sheehan YS III.1 desha-bandhas chittasya dharana “Dharana is the binding of the mind to one place, object or idea.” —Swami Satchidananda Following Master Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, we now begin the third of four books, which starts with the sixth of this eight-limbed system: Dharana, focused concentration. We leave the realm of the

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Photo Credit: Atmanism YS II.54 svavisaya asamprayoge chittasya svarupa-anukara iva indriyanam pratyaharah “When the senses withdraw themselves from the objects and imitate, as it were, the nature of the mind-stuff, this is pratyahara.” —Swami Satchidananda The last two verses in the chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras that describe spiritual practice address Pratyahara, the fifth of

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YS II.52 tatah ksiyate prakasha-avaranam Perfection in pranayama destroys that which veils the light of Self. As with last month’s focus on Asana, the verse from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras chosen for the theme this month is not one that defines the practice or how to do it but rather the results of it. However, examining

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YS II.47 prayatna-shaithilya ananta-samapattibhyam “Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.” —BKS Iyengar Sanskrit names for poses almost always end in -asana. We have taken this ending to mean “pose,” so Trikonasana is Triangle Pose, for example. Savasana, which is a

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Ishvara Pranidhana

YS II.45 samadhi-siddhir Ishvara-pranidhanat “Surrender to your higher power brings perfection in samadhi.” —BKS Iyengar Iśvara. It has many translations, many word blankets, around the simplicity of truth. Higher Self, higher truth, higher being. We keep and use the definition that aligns best with where we stand in the cosmos. What is your highest Truth?

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YS II.44 svadhyayad istadevata-samprayogah Through study of the highest Self, one establishes identity with that Self. There are two inseparable selves within each of us. We are most familiar with the one yoga refers to as the lower self, which is comprised of the different parts of the human psyche—id, ego, superego—that make up one’s

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