Yoga Sūtra Verse 1.13
July 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
tatra -in regards to these [abhyāsa and vairāgya]
sthitau – standing firm [`as in battle’] standing, staying, situated, resting or abiding or remaining in
yatnaḥ – effort, activity of will, volition
abhyāsaḥ – practice, repeated or permanent exercise, discipline, use, habit, custom
“This practice and detachment requires a steady discipline”
In yoga you are the product of your habits, not your epiphanies. Consequently, how you conduct your lives is often more important than what you accomplish. Your daily behaviors and activities create your overall state of mind. To make meaningful changes in your experience of reality you must change your behaviors and activities.
Most of your daily behaviors become habits. For example, some people move in the world with little awareness of who they are and what they are doing. The result is habits bind that person to a material sense of identity. This material identification, thinking you are the body perpetuates anxiety and suffering.
If you are in the consciousness of, “I am this body, and if I can fulfill the interests of my mind and senses, I will be happy”, you are, in Sanskrit, jiva bhūta. This means you have materialistic consciousness.
Yoga practice is about creating new habits that undo that unhealthy consciousness and revive your bramha bhūta or spirit consciousness: “I am one with and simultaneously different from the inconceivable nature of spirit.”
The ancient yoga practice required a discipline and practice that extended over multiple life times. This along with the extraordinary purity of mind required for success in Raja Yoga is why it is no longer an option for spiritual aspirants.
The modern yogi’s path is one that accounts for our lack of discipline and uncontrolled minds. Consequently, the modern practice of yoga is about making spiritual habits of the things we have to do in our work-a-day material lives.