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


“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 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.

Return to home page