Over the last few months we have been discussing (and learning) the Yoga Sutras in true “Mysore Style” -meaning we are learning the sutras one-by-one with physical adjustments applied where needed. This is a painstaking process, but this ensures the deepest internalisation of these concepts.
So far we’ve made it to the 12th aphorism of the first Pada. The first Sutra states that “Now, yoga will be revealed” and in the second sutra, yoga is indeed revealed. For those of us who were in bed that day, Patanjali states “yoga is to cease the fluctuations of the mind.” We should note that we do not stop the mind itself; we restrain the mind from its many graspings. When the mind’s fluctuations are reduced to nil, then the seer resides in his/her own essence.
Unfortunately though, we are usually at the mercy of those fluctuations, which are described as five basic types: Correct understanding and misunderstanding, imagination, memory, and sleep. Not that these mental fluctuations are always bad, in fact they can be helpful as well as problematic.
Finally we ask, “How do we arrive at this state called yoga?” And in the 12th sutra Patanjali answers: abhyaasa-vairaagyabhyaam tan-nirodhah, which means that the restriction of the 5 fluctuations is achieved through practice and non-attachment. By the way, it is worth mentioning that I’ve personally heard Guruji Pattabhi Jois quote this particular sutra several times in my brief tenure as his student. This of course has made me take note that maybe this selection has significance in my study of yoga.
Hmmmm, stay tuned for the next moon day and Sutras Discussion Group where we may discover what exactly practice and non-attachment are.
In the meantime practice, practice, practice (with non- attachment)!