Yoga is a Practice
Sadhana Pada is the second portion of the Yoga Sutra. It is the section focused on practice. As we travel through the second book of the Yoga Sutra we soon learn that the piece we're mostly drawn to: Asana, are nothing without Breath (Pranayama). Patanjali says, "Once you have perfected the pose, then practice the breath." I don't know about you, but I'm far from perfect as far as my asana practice goes.
Yoga is a Study
Svadhyaya is about the Self. As we practice asana, we learn about the areas in which we hold back, the places where we push too hard and when we have and lack flexibility. These are all reflections of how we live our lives. Our breath and the ability to move breath, can help us to release, engage and move not only our bodies but our Selves.
Yoga is Breath
Directed breathing slows down the movement of your thoughts actions and expressions. Learning to retain or suspend your breath (Kumbhaka) is the key to Pranayama. Lengthening the amount of time that you can suspend your breath after an exhale is said to lengthen your life in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
As you practice Asana and get closer to your own perfection, don't forget to breathe. Each breath creates space, openness and connection. Use your breath to discover your Self.
Yoga is Accuracy
According to Hatha Yoga our practice begins with the physical and moves toward the mindful. To access the mind, we must clear the paths (Koshas) of rubble, waste, impurity and residue. Asana clears the pathway through the external body. Satkarma clears the pathway through the internal body. It is Pranayama that clears the pathway through the energetic body.
To learn more about the practices of Raja and Hatha Yoga and to deepen your understanding of the practices of Yoga as well as your Self. Join us daily for educational discussions and intentional practices.
October began our study of the Yoga Sutra. Throughout the next few months we will be following the Yoga Sutra from Pada Eka through the end. The most important lesson to remember is from Sutra 2:1: Yogas chitta vrtti nirodha; "Yoga is the quieting of the mind's chatter." The rest is just direction for accomplishing this task. Each sutra is like a gentle guide drawing us along the path to finding union and separation. Join in as we reference translations by Saccidananda and Iyengar. Our study will continue until we complete the book.