As a teacher I am looked to for the mastery of physical yoga but I am often asked how to embody yoga off the mat. It is so easy to come toto a yoga class and be present and then leave and return to unhappiness, self-doubt, and fear. My simple answer is that practicing will lead to higher understanding. “Practicing” not only refers to the physical aspect of yoga but also to adhering to the principles and the concepts behind the philosophy.
An ancient text that delves deeper into these philosophies of yoga is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. These Sutras translate how to apply the principles of the practice to our every-day lives. If you are interested in the full text, Yoga Sutras 1.12-1.16 are the focus of today’s teaching. The terms that are meaningful are Abhyasa (dedicating time and patience to your personal practice) and Vairagya (letting go of our attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities, including our expectations).
The effects we gain from practicing the principles started in the Sutras will not only lead to clarity during practice but also in daily life. (When we stop resisting growth by dedicating time to practice we allow ourselves to flow through life’s circumstances). In short, mastery over the body and mind allows realization of the True Self.
Think of your practice like a plant. As you cultivate a deeper relationship with your yoga, you water your soul and growth becomes more graceful. It’s the dedication to nourishment that will blossom you into the beautiful person you are meant to be.