Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sutra 1.1

Yoga is an ancient practice rooted in Eastern spirituality.  The history of yoga is vast and rich with ancient texts, personalities, and disciplines.  One of the foundational historic text on yoga is known as the Yoga Sutras.  "Sutra" is defined in Sanskrit as a set of rules or aphorisms on a specific subject. Patanjali was a sage in ancient India credited with writing the Yoga Sutras, 195 aphorisms (words of wisdom, direction, and inspiration) that teach how to live a meaningful, fulfilling life. Despite being written over 1,700 years ago, the Yoga Sutras remain as relevant to the modern yogi as their ancient counterpart. There have been hundreds of translations from this age-old Sanskrit text.  Over the next several months to a year, I am going to discuss a few of the sutras considered most relevant to today's yogi and share them with you on our blog. 

One translation of Sutra 1.1: "With humility, we embrace the sacred study of Yoga." Let's break this statement down.

With humility... the dictionary describes humility as "a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness." A few synonyms of the word humility are: shyness, demureness, docility, nonresistance, and unpretentiousness. When I examine these words what comes to mind is childlike and pure. In other words, we could begin the first statement as: "With childlike purity" or "With an open mind and heart"...

We embrace... the dictionary describes embrace as "an act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically."  A few synonyms of the word embrace are: cultivate, follow, affirm, take on and act upon. Let's translate this as: "cultivate"...

Sacred...the dictionary describes sacred as "considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion."  A few synonyms of the word sacred are: cherished, divine, and revered.  Let's translate this as: "divine"...

Study... the dictionary describes study as "a state of contemplation." A few synonyms of the word study are: deliberation, consideration, commitment, and reflection. Let's translate this one as: "commitment"...

Of yoga...the dictionary describes yoga as "a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India."  A few synonyms of the word yoga are: harmony, equilibrium, union or unity. Let's use the translation "unity"...

And so, putting all of it together we now have our story for this month...
"With an open mind and heart, we cultivate a divine commitment to unity."

Our sassy seniors joyfully wave colorful scares in celebration of our divine commitment to practice in unity. We open our hearts to understanding unity of the body, mind, and spirit. Our hearts blossom to the realization that we are all one. 

You may say I'm a dreamer
but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us
and the world will be as one.
- John Lennon


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