The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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The Sutras – 1.1

July 18, 2014 , ,

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Yoga Teacher training was an intense twelve weeks filled with asana (poses), anatomy, philosophy and practice teaching. At my times, my body and brain felt as though they were combust. One of my unexpected favorite parts of the class was the philosophy lectures when we talked about the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

The word sutras can simply defined as ‘threads’ and teachers use these threads to add their own “beads” of experience for the sake of their students and themselves.

It was Patanjali who expounded yoga thought throughout these scriptures and is often considered the father of yoga. It is unknown when he lived exactly but the Sutras can be dated to range from 5,000BC to 300AD. There are 200 of them. So much for the Ten Commandments huh? As Patanjali talked, his students jotted the Sutras down shorthand. Most of the sutras are just words or thoughts barely reaching a fully formed sentence.

The science of yoga is defined within the Sutras — It’s purpose, the practice, the obstacles you meet, how to remove said obstacles and finally the results. Each sutra flow into the next. The Sutras are split into four chapters or “Padas”. 1.Portion on Contemplation 2.Portion on Practice 3. Portion on Accomplishments 4. Portion on Absoluteness.

Spiritually, studying the sutras has given me what I have always craved and it has only just begun. I look forward to dissecting the sutras here as I move forward in my studies. It is my goal to start at the beginning and go Sutra by Sutra. I hope you enjoy them as much as me.

Sutra 1.1 in the Portion of Contemplation reads first reads: Hatha yoga anusasanana

Translated – Now the exposition of Yoga is being made.

Simply read – Yoga is now. Every single moment of every single day is yoga.

What does this mean? Yoga is only when on my mat for one-hour maybe one hour and thirty minutes! No. Here Patanjali says that our yoga practice goes beyond the physical and must be practiced all day every day for “without practice, nothing can be achieved.”

The physical yoga, which we all practice today, was designed to help us get to the real Yoga which is completely mastering your mind. And that is something that must be worked on when we are brushing our teeth, making breakfast, riding the train, etc.

More next Friday in Sutra 1.2.

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