Category Archives: Yoga Texts and Teachings

What is the nature of distraction?

itaratra

“What is the nature of distraction?”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4
Shared from 
Paul Harvey’s Yoga Journal

Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life……

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“Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life. However, even without outer obstacles, we can encounter inner feelings that arise and manifest as obstacles to that re-turning.

Here it might be helpful to reflect on the four pillars of MaitrīKaruṇāMuditā and Upekṣā and the role they can have in helping to transform the unhelpful aspects of these inner feelings.

Bhāvana is a beneficial attitude that is consciously cultivated
despite tendencies to the contrary”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

With the spirit of Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33 in mind, the cultivation of the four pillars is a practice that can support a stepping, rather than stalling, onto our mat or seat through:

  1. Maitrī –
    Cultivating a feeling of friendliness towards our own attempts,
    let alone other’s demands, to distract ourselves.
  2. Karuṇā –
    Cultivating a feeling of compassion towards our bodies and minds,
    whatever state we find them in.
  3. Muditā –
    Cultivating a feeling of looking for the positive spot in ourselves
    and what we can do well and now, rather than what we can’t do well or now.
  4. Upekṣā –
    Cultivating a feeling of keeping distance from the self-deprecation that can so often accompany our attempts to improve the quality of our inner life and old responses to inner tensions and memories.”

– Paul Harvey’s personal commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

Yoga is a process that evolves……

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“Yoga is a process that evolves,
from an enquiry into our limitations,
towards an inquiry that expands our potentials.”
Paul Harvey
Shared from Paul’s Yoga Journal

Duḥkha is a disturbance of the mind…..

Mind

“Duḥkha is a disturbance of the mind. While sometimes the words sorrow, misery, and disease are used to define duḥkha, it is best identified as a feeling of restriction.
Somehow something deeply disturbs us and we feel restricted.
This restriction is duḥkha…….
We all aim to remove duḥkha……..
That is what Yoga is trying to do.”

TKV Desikachar, Religiousness in Yoga

TKV Desikachar – It is not enough to realise that…..

“It is not enough to realise that there is somewhere to go,
you must also be really interested in taking the step.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

Paul Harvey (yogastudies.org)

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Our journey to our roots…..

“Our journey to our roots is Svādhyāya.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1
Paul Harvey (yogastudies.org)

Śraddhā is essential for progress whether…..

“Śraddhā is essential for progress, whether in Yoga or any other endeavour. It is a feeling that cannot be expressed or intellectually discussed. It, however, is a feeling that is not always uncovered in every person.
When absent or weak, it is evident through the lack of stability and focus in a person. Where present and strong, it is evident through the commitment, perseverance and enthusiasm the person exhibits.
For such a person, life is meaningful.”

– TKV Desikachar

Paul Harvey (yogastudies.org)

Sāṃkhya and Change

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Sāṃkhya is about living more within that which doesn’t change,
rather than living more within that which does change.

Paul Harvey (yogastudies.org)

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Initially our efforts with practice…..

Posted by Michele Harney, Yoga Rathgar & Dundrum – Dublin

“Initially our efforts with practice are as a Sādhana towards finding the means to unveil the experience of the percipience of Cit.
Ultimately our efforts with practice are as a Yajña or oblation in gratitude for having found the means to unveil the experience of the percipience of Cit.”

Courtesy – Paul Harvey’s Daily Quotes – Centre for Yoga Studies

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Intention

Posted by Michele Harney, Yoga Rathgar & Dundrum – Dublin

“What sustains Saṃkalpa (intention, volition) day after day?”
– TKV Desikachar 1998

Courtesy – Paul Harvey’s Daily Quotes – Centre for Yoga Studies


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Krishnamacharaya would introduce…..

Posted by Michele Harney, Yoga Rathgar & Dundrum – Dublin

“Krishnamacharya would introduce the Sūtra philosophy when students were resting during an Āsana practice, because he felt that this was the only time they had available to them.”
TKV Desikachar April 1992

Courtesy – Paul Harvey’s Daily Quotes – Centre for Yoga Studies

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The less we act from the field of…..

Posted by Michele Harney, Yoga Rathgar & Dundrum – Dublin

“The less we act from within the field of the present moment (Cit) the more we re-act from within the field of past memories (Citta).”
Courtesy – Paul Harvey’s Daily Quotes – Centre for Yoga Studies

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Habits – Saṃskāra


IMG_3141“We become conditioned to certain habits or comfortable grooves. When we can’t continue in them because of change, we suffer. Even if the change is the right one and will lead to a better awareness we would rather stay in the comfortable groove even knowing it to be a negative pattern.

An example of this could be taking time to practice and the patterning of the psyche compelling us to find other activities or in-activities to fill the time. We can make a career out of finding a myriad of ways of staying too busy to make time for ourselves.”

Excerpt from article by Paul Harvey cYs on Āyurveda & Yoga

Yoga Sūtra Chapter 1 Verse 6

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 5
vṛttayaḥ pañcatayyaḥ kliṣṭa-akliṣṭāḥ
Courtesy Paul Harvey – Yoga Sūtra Translation

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter 1 Verse 5

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 5
vṛtttayaḥ pañcatayyaḥ kliṣṭa-akliṣṭaḥ |
The movements are fivefold and they afflict or don’t afflict.

Courtesy Paul Harvey – Yoga Sūtra Translation

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter 1 Verse 4

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4
vṛtti-sārūpyam-itaratra |
At other times there is identification with the movement.

Courtesy Paul Harvey – Yoga Sūtra Translation

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter 1 Verse 3

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 3
tadā draṣṭuḥ sva-rūpe-avasthānam |
Then the seers own character remains.

Courtesy Paul Harvey – Yoga Sūtra Translation

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter 1 Verse 2

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
yogaḥ-citta-vṛitti-nirodaḥ |
Yoga is the containment of the movement of the psyche.

Courtesy Paul Harvey – Yoga Sūtra Translation

In addition to offering a greater understanding of the psyche, the Yoga Sūtra outline specific tools for creating change at the level of psyche. We can read, research, study, try to understand why things are the way we are and even after all of this, nothing fundamental may have changed in relation to how we feel and how we act.

Yoga provides practical tools for working at the level of both the physical and the psychological, to create physical and psychological change.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter One Verse 1

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1
atha yoga-anuśāsanam |
Now follow the teachings of Yoga.

Courtesy Paul Harvey – Yoga Sūtra Translation

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter One Title

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter One Title
samādhi-pādaḥ |
The section on Integration.

Shared from – Paul Harvey – Yoga Sūtra Translation

The Yoga Sūtra of Patāñjali is the primary text underpinning the practice of Yoga, encompassing practice and understanding at the level of mind, body and spirit.