The Yoga Sutras are a collection of aphorisms that teach yoga practitioners all about the 8 limbs of yoga. They are widely regarded as the leading authoritative text about yoga and they are teaming with wisdom that has been helping people live better lives for generations. This week, we are beyond excited to be sharing the insights of International yoga teacher, writer, and storyteller, Will Duprey, regarding 3 very important Yoga Sutras.
Imagine your mind as one super awesome ﬁberoptic pathway to consciousness.
Thoughts and impressions travel this pathway. They create safety and stability in an everchanging environment.
The cycle of the mind ﬂuctuates between clarity and coloring. Some thoughts are fair and some false but all are strong enough to create a perception.
Sutra 4.19: Your mind is an object of perception.
As Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood write, “The mind is not self-luminous; that is to say, it is not a light-giver, like the sun, but a light-reﬂector, like the moon,” in How to Know God.
The outside world is in constant change. The change that your mind reﬂects is not a source of light, knowledge or truth. The mind perceives. Truth comes by association to sensation.
Remember this Sutra as clarity in sensation, by the way you feel when in balance.
The internal energy you experience results only in a coherent mind. And your experiences grouped into the words like “energy” can be disarming.
Yoga is not a process of accumulation but a doctrine of habit. Sensation is internal to you. It is your map.
You achieve mental mastery through physical mastery, hatha yoga for the physical tempers the mental. The mind becomes one super awesome ﬁberoptic pathway to consciousness through allowing.
When you are out of balance you will feel like you’re living on another planet. When in balance you feel the authentic you.
Sutra 1.3: Abiding in your real nature.
You practice with depth. Asana has become equal to the other limbs of yoga for you. You see eﬀort and non eﬀort and you allow — serenity within and surrender outside.
With that comes a clearer image of you. Not you in the mirror or in doing, but the ever present part of you. The nameless sensation you carry within.
The tangible goals, ambitions of your practice and life are more about clarity and truth rather than appearance. You smile. You can’t help it when you sit in steadiness, observing your radiant self, abiding in your real nature.
Real nature is truth and that truth is your compass. Make yoga philosophy simple. Dharma is truth. When you move with this quality, contentment is a sure result.
Aim your mind at moving with inner sensations and clarity.
The mastery of the mind, raja yoga has no style.
Sutra 2.42: Through contentment, you gain supreme joy.
When you tie all the threads of inquiry together, the mind becomes clear in a diﬀerent light.
And the mind threads come together with a diﬀerent clarity. You reveal an unchanged aspect of your heart. That steadiness remains through progression and regression. You gain purpose and feel complete in life.
Think of tying all the threads of inquiry together and through the mind you gain purpose. A completeness in living arising from yoga — direction.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are an amazing treaty on raja yoga. They are not ready to consume and do require their own steadiness.
Contemplation, or tarka is key. A crucial tool for making the jump from application (dharana) to allowing (dhyana) within mental mastery.
You are the takeaway. With extreme simplicity, without you there is not philosophy or thought. For this reason, yoga requires time and pressure…and room to absorb and live the practices.
As you sit with comfort, become involved in these three contemplations:
Your mind is an object of perception. Your mind, no matter how clear or clever is subject to misperception. And this is Patanjali’s entire treaty on suﬀering. When the mind is perceiving, it can operate from a false reality. Focus on internal sensation as a map.
Abiding in your real nature. Your real nature is clarity. Simple, pure, as is. This will remind you to associate with inner sensation. Your internal energetic sensation will adapt to the environment around you as it remains steady and unchanged with purpose. That is your compass.
Through contentment, you gain supreme joy. Through contentment you gain joy and not the other way around. Placing joy ﬁrst establishes a seeking behavior of the mind. Your mind calculates external values as truths and the cycle can repeat. Find contentment in who you are through ﬁrst two contemplations.
By Will Duprey
International yoga teacher, writer, storyteller, Will Duprey practices pranayama and meditation and is known for effortlessly combining classical theory with contemporary yoga methods.