The Old Sage (Patanjali) Delivers Prosperity

Apr 29, 2012 | Philosophy, Yoga practices, Yoga teaching  | 1 comment

I was inspired by a talk given by Michael de Manicor of the Yoga Institute at the Yoga Australia conference yesterday. Michael is very enthusiastic about Ph.D. research he is doing in the field of psychology and this came across in his speaking.

He presented his topic- “Mental Health & Flourishing” – and compared what we modern yogis think yoga to be vs. the classical teachings of Patanjali.

Michael’s talk turned me on to studying the Yoga Sutra again because it clearly presents such a complete model of the mind – one that points to “a model of psychology that enables us to flourish in our lives.”

You may have heard and/or read of Positive Psychology, a niche of western psychology popularised by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In Seligman’s most recent book, Flourish, he seems to be encouraging us, like Patanjali, to evolve to our highest potential.

I enjoyed seeing Michael’s slide presentation of current mental health research with all the comparisons and contrasts he was able to make with what classical yoga can provide.

Not everyone takes to Patanjali. It seems to me that it’s difficult for younger practitioners of yoga to create interest in Sutra studies and the more reflective practices, like meditation. Perhaps it’s just that the younger you are, the more you need to use up excessive energy in dynamic practice. Or, maybe you just need an inspiring teacher like Michael.

1 Comment

  1. How generous of you to serialise your writing on the Internet! Have you heard of The How of Happiness, by Sonja Lyubormirsky?
    I’ve heard she is at the forefront of the Positive Psychology movement. Kindly, Eve


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