A Sutra a Day: II-8 – Avoidance or Self-Mastery?

Jul 23, 2012 | Philosophy, Wisdom, XSutras, Yoga practices, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | 0 comments


- a sutra a day: ii-8 - avoidance or self-mastery?

Urdhva Dhanurasana

There are the poses we love, those that we feel neutral about, and the ones we wish hadn’t been written into the textbook.
Some people adore going upside-down, others who tolerate inversions, and those who get a crick in the neck with even the thought of head-down-bum-up.
People come to my classes for the first time expecting a workout and find a class that is more pensive and prop-oriented which is sometimes disappointing for them. Perhaps my classes are more of an acquired taste?
Becoming aware of and studying the way we react to situations, people and things is the real stuff of yoga. So, when a big feeling comes up, whether it’s for or against, that’s the time to pay attention.
Patanjali says that, rather than rushing towards pleasure or avoiding pain, we can nuture a third response: dispassion.
Think about it the next time you do your next chaturanga dandasana, urdhva dhanurasana, or baddha padmasana. Can you really practice in a detached manner, knowing that you may not achieve the pose?

Duhkha-anusayi dvesah

Aversion is preoccupation with pain.*
*Patanjali’s Meditation Yoga, translation and commentary by Vyn Bailey.


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