स तु दीर्घकालनैरन्तर्यसत्कारासेवितो दृढभूमिः॥१४॥
sa tu dīrgha-kāla-nairantarya-satkārāsevito dṛḍha-bhūmiḥ
- The act of remembering, is the act of not escaping of objects experienced before. -CT
- Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness. – SS
- Memory is the retention of images of sense objects that have been experienced. – EBF
saḥ—it, this, he, she
āsevita—thoroughly attended to, well attended to
sat-kāra—utmost respect, earnestness
nairantarya—no interruption, with-out break, continuous
This to me is the meat and potatoes of the Yoga Sutras. It is harder for us to relate to the sutras that talk about the cessation of mental activity, liberation, or Purusa. This sutra gives us something to bite into. We know just how to go forward from this description. We must practice working with our minds, with the utmost respect, continuously for a long time, without taking a break for even a day.
Of course we can understand for the most part that we have to practice everyday. That is why I have started this group, because I find that the hardest step to take, on the path to yoga, is jumping into daily practice whole heartedly. What does it take for us to commit to practicing daily?
The most significant part of this sutra to me though, is the “sincerity”. What is your reason for showing up? What is motivating you? How are you honoring this tradition, that you have found valuable enough to bring into your life? Are you showing up, eagerly with your whole heart?
In yoga this is called Sankalpa (intention), and it is important to understand that for the true practitioner of Yoga, a sankalpa goes beyond the separate self. This means that the practice is done for something beyond oneself, for something greater than oneself. The practice is done with a sense of commitment that cannot be broken.
Material Sankalpas are rooted in tamas and rajas. Intentions such as I practice for a better body, stress relief, self-help, more success, or better living conditions are all intentions rooted in the material world and the sense of separate self. They are valuable and necessary intentions, they help us to get our foot in the door.
Sattvic intentions are those they extend beyond our individuality, they are our spiritual intentions. Intentions like practicing for the benefit of my family, my community, all creatures, practicing for the expansion of myself or my consciousness are all intentions that show the growth of ones idea of SELF.
No one says you can’t have more than one intention. That being said we can have both material and spiritual intentions, especially as we begin.
Once we become firmly grounded in practice, our need for the material success and intention will become less and less and we will see an upgrade in our understanding and therefore our intention.
Remember practice here is referring to the practice of mastering ones citta. What the techniques you use to practice can and will change through out your journey. Often we start with Asana, growing into Meditation, graduating into Self-Study or the Study of the Sacred. Be committed to practicing but flexible about how you practice or what your practice looks.
Keep up your Mantra Practice!
- OM or AUM
- I am love.
- I am abundant.
- I am truth.
- Everything is as it should be.
- I determine my own experience.
ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः ॥
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो मवन्तु ॥
Lokāḥ Samastaḥ Sukhino Bhavantu॥
May all beings everywhere attain happiness and freedom.
Oṁ Asato Mā Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Mā Jyotir Gamaya
Mṛtyur Ma Amṛtam Gamaya
Oṁ Śāntiḥ Śāntiḥ Śāntiḥ
Lead me from the unreal to the real
From darkness to the light
From mortality to immorality
Om Peace Peace Peace
Start with Love! End with Love!
Guide me to that which is in my highest good. Help me to distinguish what nourishes my soul and what deteriorates my being. Lead me down the path of wisdom so that I may show up fully in each moment. Let my study be enlightening and fruitful. Allow my practice to benefit all beings. – Namaste
Practice 5X Rounds. If you have more time practice Pavanamuktasana first or do more rounds.
- Lie on you back, with your knees bent and heels close to the hips.
- Place your palms on your belly between the navel and bottom ribs with the tips of the middle fingers touching.
- Start Ujjayi Pranayama.
- Start to breath deep into the belly. Let the tips of the fingers move apart on inhalation. Hold the breath comfortably.
- Exhale completely, let the finger tips come back together. Pause, hold the breath comfortably.
- Continue for 5 Minutes.
Get comfortable in Savasana and listen to the Yoga Nidra audio file. You can practice Yoga Nidra anytime that you feel tired and need a quick recharge or when you want to relax, like before bed.
Before doing your reflection take 5 minutes to sit and think. Bring up a thought that you think is dark, uncomfortable, shameful or wrong. Sit with it. Notice what it feels like in your body. Notice if you want to make up story about it. Notice if you want to avoid it. Is this easy for you or do your feel resistant.
DO NOT JUDGE YOURSELF! INSTEAD TELL YOURSELF…
- THIS IS A VALID AND IMPORTANT PART OF MY EXPERIENCE.
- I LOVE THIS PART OF MYSELF AND MY EXPERIENCE.
- I AM NOT MY THOUGHTS OR MY EMOTIONS.
- Am I willing to really look at myself and my mind? How did I feel in the reflection exercise above?
- What is motivating me to do this practice?
- How am I doing in my mantra practice?
What does this remind me of? Other stories, scriptures, or teachings.