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Thoughts on practice

Sa tu dirgha-kala-nairantarya-satkarasevito drdha-bhumihiStock_000000614773Medium_480

— Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras I.14

Practice becomes firmly established when it has been cultivated uninterruptedly and with devotion for prolonged period of time.

I’ve been practicing yoga for about 8 years with 2 years of intense schooling & a bit over a year teaching. I thrive to cultivate patience & self acceptance on the mat & off the mat by finding a balance. But I have to admit that  I loose my patience (or shall I say, give into my ego) when I can get to a certain asana quickly or at all.

Thankfully, this sutra becomes very helpful. Patanjali here says that practice must be performed nairantaya, without interruption & dirgha-kala, for a long time…One cannot attain success in a few months or many years, unless one is exceptionally dedicated (Gita even says for many births…). Practice is a lifetime commitment with respect & devotion.

If we correlate citta (mind, body, etc.) with a plant, we can imagine a beautiful & attractive rose. To cultivate the beauty & sustain the plant, we need to constantly water the soil & protect it from weeds. The second we stop, pets will take over, the same goes to our yoga practice.  If we stop, all of our work is easily undone. On the other hand, we can’t control the size or length of the plant – our rights is to action only.  We can use the same metaphor for our practice.  After all, we’re pursuing the ultimate goal of life – realization of the innermost self – can’t expect to attain this in a random manner and it really doesn’t matter if your toes reach the floor in the forward bend – just practice….

Resources: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Edwin F. Byant

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This entry was posted on Saturday, February 13th, 2010 at 4:54 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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