Memory = Our Own Textbook – Sutra I-11

May 25, 2012 | Wisdom, XSutras, xTmp, Yoga practices, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Yoga teaching  | 0 comments

chalk writing on the sidewalk: life is short, do what matters

One of the reasons students give sometimes for not practicing yoga at home is that they can’t remember the poses and/or the sequence that they fit in.
The original yogis – the ones who were reputed to dwell in forests and caves – were experimenters and not too worried about poses and sequences. Their interest was in the mind and consciousness, but modern yogis, we’re mainly, or at least that’s where we begin,
Memory can be a blessing and a curse. When I can’t remember where I put my reading glasses, and especially when I misplace them several times a day, I feel rather dumb. Another layer of self-flagellation occurs when I think, oh, this is the beginning of the slide into senile forgetfulness. Ive noticed that line of thinking certainly can impede progress on the glasses retrieval.
On the other hand, memories can be heart-warming when the image of someone you hold dear comes into your mind, as in, “gee I wonder what Katy is up to now”, or “I need to be in touch with Peter, it’s been too long”.
It’s worth the effort to learn poses and sequences, however halting it might be at the start. Keen beginners in yoga are advantaged by remembering what they’ve learned in their classes, and then doing personal practice. Why? Because they take ownership of the evolution of their body/mind. They can deepen their learning by grappling with remembering, applying and understanding what this thing called yoga is.
At some point, the yoga practitioner doesn’t have to rely on memory so much – the practice is your path, and you and your path are one.
Anubhutavisayasampramosah smrtih
The retention of past perceptions, experiences and knowledge is memory.*
Mark Giubarelli,


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