A Sutra a Day: III-21 – Invisibility: A Power or a Weakness?

Oct 26, 2012 | Healing, Philosophy, XSutras, xTmp, Yoga practices, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Yoga teaching  | 0 comments

If you are a teacher, you may have had similar experiences to mine when I’ve tried to remember after a class I taught who had been in attendance.  When I’ve engaged in conversations with students as they were paying at the end of a class, I’d tend to forget to mark them off the role. Then, I’d have to bring up a picture in my mind of who had been where in the class to figure out who I might have left out.
I swear some people have a knack for making themselves almost invisible in class – it’s so hard to remember their attendance. What is that? A talent or a liability? Are they trying to pass unnoticed?
When I attended classes at the Iyengar Institute in India in the mid-eighties, I was so nervous about having the eyes of the Great Guru on me I scarcely breathed. I wished I’d had Harry Potter’s ‘cloak of invisibility’!
If you’ve ever tried hard to make yourself inconspicuous, you would know that is the best way to get caught. So, it was for me. Mr. Iyengar spotted my lazy quadriceps across a room filled with 50 or so students, and he was on my case in a flash.
Instead of being invisible, I was sprung. he paid a whole heap of attention to me, so much so that I thought I might just have to catch the next flight home to Sydney. Pixie Lillas saved my pride by telling me after class that the Acharya only gave that much attention to someone who showed promise.
Whether or not she was speaking the truth didn’t matter. I stayed in the classes for five weeks more, apparently having passed an initiation.
Perhaps the way to invisibility is simply to soften the ego 🙂

Kaya-rupa-samyamat-tad.-grahya-sakti-stambhe caksuh-prakasa-asamprayoge-antardhanam

Invisibility comes from perfect mastery of physical appearance, which allows one to dissociate the observer’s gaze from one’s own emanations.*
*The Essence of Yoga – Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, by Bernard Bouanchaud.

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