The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Several years ago I decided that it was about time that I read the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. I was well into my fourth decade as a yoga practitioner and somehow I’d managed to skirt any serious study of the Old Sage.

I thought that Yoga Suits Her would suit a sort of online self-study forum for me and my readers as well.
Each night for 9 months I sat down at my computer and worked my way through all 196 sutra. I relied on the wise interpretations of teachers, such as by Georg Feurerstein, B.K.S. Iyengar and T.K.V. Desikachar. But more importantly, I wove in my everyday experiences to make the sutra relevant to me and others.

It was a sort of dusting off of the old text, and hopefully ‘with all due respect.’

Here they are!

A Sutra a Day: I-36 – Cyclical Thoughts

A Sutra a Day: I-36 – Cyclical Thoughts

A yoga student in last week’s class said that she almost didn’t make it. She might have been vacillating for all the myriad reasons a mind can generate: too busy, too hard, too long since the last attendance, not feeling like it, winter blues, upset in the family, or just plain slack.
She didn’t tell me why it was a close call and I didn’t ask, but I was thinking about her today when I was cycling down to Manning Point. […]

A Sutra a Day: I:37 – Healthy Focus

I don’t know what the exact trigger is for having to go on a diet – different for different people, I suppose.
Possible reasons for gaining weight are we’ve been on the holiday of a lifetime on a cruise ship where the food laid on was deliciously irresistible. Or how about, visiting distant family and suffering emotional setbacks that could only be soothed by comfort foods. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-38 Work Your Dreams!

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The practice of yoga can become addictive for some people, especially those personalities who have that little bit of a tendency to get obsessive about things, like me.
When I discovered Iyengar yoga in 1979, sometimes I would do more than one class a day. I would definitely be at the studio every day (except Sunday), and I even did a yoga teacher training course only five months after my first class. The course went for six months. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-39 – Post-it-note Proclamations

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I’m not sure I believe in affirmations. In fact, I think I read a study somewhere that said affirmations can work against you.
Say you pick a slogan such as, “I am happy and free”, and you write up some post-it-note messages to be placed strategically around your home. Everywhere you turn, there’s a reminder of the state of being that you aspire to as though it already exists.
But, here’s the thing that can trip you up: you don’t feel happy and free. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-40 – Are Devices Vices?

A Sutra a Day: I-40 – Are Devices Vices?

I love my iPhone. I was an early adopter. Not because of any nifty apps I could get, of which there were few and far between back then. But I just loved the way the iPhone could display photos, and, lord knows, I have a lot of images.
I am not a luddite. I wonder, though, whether all the screens we view all through the day are serving our health. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-41 Polishing the Jewel

A Sutra a Day: I-41 Polishing the Jewel

(If you are irritated by every rub, how will you get polished? – Rumi)
I’m trying on being philosophical about having lost a post that took me the better part of an hour to compose. Hey, I’m slow at this, even after 2.5 yrs. on “Yoga Suits Her”.
So, the gist of what I want to say is: I’ve been resisting like crazy writing about the next few Sutra. They relate to experiences I have never had. Fortunately, Chapter One is almost complete, and Chapter Two is more the realm of mere mortals like me.
Fortunately T.K.V. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-43 – Still Motion

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I have become a writing machine. I’ve been churning out words all day at my computer.
Some of these words have to do with an infusion of new material on the YogaAnywhere FB site. Some relate to a new Yogaanywhere Wordpress site that is coming down the highway very soon – watch this space! Other writing relates to a great new newsletter about to be birthed this week. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-44 – Letting Go of Posturing

A Sutra a Day: I-44 – Letting Go of Posturing

There are many yoga practices: mental, physical, emotional, physical. One sort of yoga practice I do is letting go of certain ideas I believe to be true, for instance the notion that I’m not any good at speak off the cuff in front of a camera.
Here’s an example from today:
We spent a little time this afternoon making some videos that will probably find their way onto one of my websites. The purpose is to educate people and perhaps sell things.
I don’t feel comfortable in front of cameras. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-45 – Forces of Nature

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With the southerly gale forces blowing up from Antarctica this week (or so it seems), have you started putting on some weight? A small fat layer to insulate from the perverse winter winds. It’s allowed, isn’t it? After all, we’ll just cover up with skivvies, fleecies, and beanies anyway.
In yoga we can make adjustments to our diets by considering the gunas – the three qualities of nature that contribute to how we show up in the world. They are called sattwa, rajas and tamas. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-46 Thanks to the Guru

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I saw a photo of B.K.S. Iyengar on Facebook yesterday, taken at the Yoga Institute in Pune, India. He was being celebrated on the occasion of Guru Poornima, the festival that gives disciples an opportunity to offer gratitude to their gurus.
The last time I saw Mr. Iyengar was in Bronte Park (Sydney) where he was being interviewed for a radio program back in the 90’s. He has always been a man of considerable force in the world which has earned him a nomination for The Greatest Indian award. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-47 – Body Awareness

A Sutra a Day: I-47 – Body Awareness

Perhaps this is too serious a topic for a Friday night, but, hey, we’re up to it! The subject relates to the sutra of the day – how we know ourselves.
Here’s a lovely video that I think illustrates an idea from Goethe: “being a wheel rolling from its own centre.” This is a simple, accessible video class from a series by American, John McConnell, and it’s called “Knowing Yourself Through Awareness.”

I learned yoga with a great deal of emphasis on the physical; this is the way Iyengar yoga presents itself to the untrained. […]