Its back to the mat!
Where are we as February rolls into view? A look into the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, we find a list of 9 distractions that we can fall into, each one with the potential to divide us from our practice. These distractions are predictable obstacles that arise in Life and they are accompanied by four predictable consequences. Would you like to read them? Please do so with the spirit of inquiry and not one of shame, and not one of knee-jerk commitment. Each one is an investigation into our lives, right as they are today. If we can start where we are, really see where we are, not where we want to be, then Yoga Self-Inquiry in the larger context of the Practice, is real.
The list is called Antaryah…..that which creates a gap.
1.30 The nine distractions: physical illness, tendency of the mind to not work efficiently, doubt or indecision, lack of attention to the bigger picture of Yoga, laziness in body and mind, failure to regulate the desire for worldly objects, incorrect assumptions or thinking, failing to attain the stages of concentration in practice, and failure to sustain them once attained.
1.31 The companions to the above nine distractions are considered obstacles: mental and physical pain, sadness and frustration, unsteadiness of the body, and irregular breath. First we have the nine distractions, if we can not be derailed at this point, than we live in equanimity. If we don’t, than the disturbance will cause an actual obstruction, something much harder to weed out. Not impossible, though, just harder.
Yoga supplies a remedy: one pointed concentration. Focus in such a way that your particular distraction does not enter, break the link between conditioned mind and don’t get lost in the delusion that then turns obstructive. Sutra 1.32 is more than a strong nudge in the right direction, this sutra says it loudly: CONCENTRATE ON ONE ASPECT OF TRUTH AND SEE IT THROUGH.
The mastery of a yoga pose will help weaken the afflictions, the distractions, the obstacles, and then the Sutra 1.3 is clear: life is well lived, eyes wide open. More on the Sutras as the year goes on. In the meantime, I see several personal antaryahs to inquire into, I best get going!