Abhyasa and Vairagya

  Yoga Sutra I. 12 Abhyasa vairagyambhyam tannirodhah Practice and detachment are the means to still the movements of consciousness. BKS Iyengar (trans) According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the principles of abhyasa and vairagya are the two wings of yoga sadhana¬†(practice). Abhyasa means “effort of long duration, without interruption, preformed with devotion whichContinue reading “Abhyasa and Vairagya”

Samskaras and Burning the Seeds of Habit

The first time I heard the word samskara, I was on a 10-day Vipsasana retreat at an SN Goenka Center. In some of Goenka ji’s talks he mentioned that the practice of meditation, or more precisely, the experience of insight, can actually burn up or purify the samskaras. Even though I only barely touched whatContinue reading “Samskaras and Burning the Seeds of Habit”

What I admire about BKS Iyengar

In the “Hints and Cautions for the Practice of Asana” in Light on Yoga, BKS Iyengar writes that the qualities demanded from an aspirant are discipline, faith, tenacity and perseverance. These are the very qualities that came to mind when I thought of what I admired most about BKS Iyengar. The quality of discipline hasContinue reading “What I admire about BKS Iyengar”

What is Yoga?

Classically, in the Bhagavad Gita, there are four main branches of Yoga: Jnana (path of knowledge), Dhyana (meditation), Karma (selfless action), Bhakti (devotion). Here, I will focus on the Yoga Sutras as complied by Patanjali, called Astanga yoga or Patanjali yoga. I have been blessed to study Patanjali yoga with two long-time students of YogacharyaContinue reading “What is Yoga?”

However beautifully we carry out an asana, however flexible our body may be, if we do not achieve the integration of body, breath and mind we can hardly claim that what we are doing is yoga. What is yoga after all? It is something that we experience inside, deep within our being. Yoga is notContinue reading

There is no state to be attained…

“There is no state to be attained other than our practice of letting go.” -Dogen Zenji Letting go is a commitment to return to what is in front of us, rather than dwelling in the world of the mind, ¬†fabrication, habit, or karma. Continuous practice is the practice of letting go and fully experiencing eachContinue reading “There is no state to be attained…”