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Soul Train Yoga

Yoga Philosophy Notes & Sharing

At the end of each yoga class I spend a few minutes talking about an aspect of yoga philosophy. Over the coming few weeks we will be looking at some of the key yoga sutras from Patanjali. For those who have been asking for a copy of what I talked about.... and anyone else who's interested..

Patanjali's yoga sutras are credited with being the first time yoga was codified as in what we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it. The yoga sutras were thought to have been written around 300BC by Patajali a person or a group of people. (Although the first mention of yoga is around 5000 years ago in the Vedic scriptures). With all yoga philosophy what I enjoy most is that it's not about someone else's commentary, it's about how that philosophy makes sense in your world. So you hear the sutra for example and then go off and have a think about what the currently means for you or how you can bring it into you life....

Week 1: Sutra 1.1 atha yoga anushasanam

So it could simple be stating, "here is the start of the book, now I'm going to tell you about yoga"... however, with all philosophy there are many meanings and the deeper we look into it the more we find... so another popular commentary suggests he is saying "the now" is an exposition of yoga, as in studying "the now", being in the moment is yoga.

Week 2: Sutra 1.2 yogah citta vritti nirodhah
nirodhah=channelling of that

So 1.2 straight away Patanjali gets straight to the point... the state of yoga is achieved by channelling our attention to be totally present or in the moment. So we practice this with traditional seated meditation techniques such as anapanasati (mindfulness with breathing/watching the breath) or pranayama (breathwork) or asana (postures). What we practise on the mat we can take into our daily lives off the mat. We can often convince ourselves that we are able to function effectively being totally busy and multi-tasking, but if we are really honest with ourselves then we know we need to simplify, do one thing at a time to truly be present.

I have enjoyed many commentaries on the sutras of Patanjali but a website that I often refer to is :




Patanjali's yoga sutras 1.3
Tada drastuh svarupe avastanam - When we are in the state of yoga, at that time the seer will see his true self and stay in that place.

So for me, at my current level of understanding this quite simply means that when we are able to focus our attention entirely on what we are doing and be fully present to the moment, then we will see our true selves. So by being totally present, having removed all distractions, having cleared away anything that clouds our perception, in that sacred pause we will see things as they really are and see ourselves as we really are. How simple and beautiful. Love Alison x



More coming soon..... x




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