Tag Archives: Patanjali Yoga Sutras

In The Beginning

OmGong_Mantra_200As is sometimes the case for those of us who become yoga teachers, my first few classes were a little rough. Fortunately my classes were so small that my early missteps were endured only by an unfortunate few. And, since some of my fellow Teacher Training alumni as well as friends with years of teaching experience mercifully subjected themselves to my classes, I got valuable feedback to help me improve. On one such occasion it was brought to my attention that I was so anxious to get everyone moving on their mats that I had forgotten the first order of business: I had forgotten to chant “Om”.

Of course, not every yoga teacher chants “Om” to begin a class. And some yoga students are just as happy to get centered and focused by other means. But as a general rule, at least in most yoga studios, we begin and end a yoga class by chanting “Om”. Continue reading

Sankara’s Selfless Service

“I know that the choices we make, every choice, including the choice not to do something, makes a difference in the world because no choice is made in a vacuum. So can one person make a difference? Duh!  It’s impossible to NOT make a difference so the question we must ask ourselves is not ‘can I make a difference’ but ‘what kind of a difference do I want to make in the world?”

Julia Butterfly Hill

Some time back I pointed out how translations and commentaries on yoga texts like Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are often written from a point of view – the philosophy of absolute non-dualism – that’s not inherently part of the text being translated or commented on. And I left you with an unresolved question: why does this matter?

I’ll answer my question with a question: does what we do matter? Continue reading

Love or Confusion

Most people who’ve spent a significant amount of time hanging around the yoga-sphere have heard at least one yoga teacher put forward the proposition that, according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, when one attains stillness of the mind then not only is the true nature of the self revealed but one simultaneously merges into an Absolute Oneness of Being beyond all form, qualities, names, and relativity, constituting an ever-present reality of pure consciousness, exquisite peace, complete knowledge, immeasurable happiness, and unconditional love.

Wow, that sounds great, but… uh, love for who?

Continue reading