Chant Camp wrapped up a few weeks ago - a wonderful annual 'stay-cation retreat' offered by Jake Miller at Blue Banyan. At the onset of this magnificent week I had just finished reading a most wonderful book by Atul Gawande titled "Being Mortal".
This book looks at the intersection of medicine, medical intervention and technology & our inevitable aging process.
This year in Chant Camp Jake focused on the Sutras, particularly Sutra 1.1, 1.2 & 1.3
See below for teachings and translations
My immersion in both "Being Mortal" and "Chant Camp" exemplified for me -more than ever before- how the practice of yoga (both on and off the mat) exponentially enhances the quality and longevity of life.
We all know that yoga makes us feel good, that it improves our flexibility and strength but there is so much more....
There are two basic states of living in our mortal bodies. One is simply being alive, being in a state where the body is functioning enough to maintain life.
The other way of being alive is by 'Actively Living' ; a state that "feels alive". I think, at some point or other, we all have experienced both of these states.
The practice of Yoga, as taught by the Sutras, is fuel for Living. The Sutras give us a big ol' box full of tools for living a rewarding, sustainable, healthy, Spirit- filled , 'alive' life.
As you see below Sutra 1.1 reads that "Yoga is now" , its right now, not simply when you are on your mat, or mediating but also now as you read this newsletter & while you are sitting at a computer, its driving to work and being frustrated in a slow moving line at the grocery store... it's NOW.
The Sutras go on to talk about the importance of quieting the mind and explains that the 'yoga tool box' offers many ways to do just that.
We all know that a busy mind takes up a whole lot of energy - when we manage the chattery mind we free up that precious energy for healing, fun, love, giving, Living!
I could go on and on about the benefits of a quiet mind which leads to clear choices, the stress reducing benefits of the practice on our physiology... on and on.. but no need- I am sure you get where I'm going with this...
So this is all to say.. Yay for Yoga!! Yay for Living & for our mortality!! Yay for the gift that the practice, in all of its forms, give us today, tomorrow and for the rest of our time Here, and to acknowledge that when we find yoga & we make the conscious choice to practice- we are not only serving ourSelves but we are also serving those who may, one day, have the burden & the honor of caring for us.
So perhaps let this inspire you to stay on the Journey, stay Connected, stay Dedicated & Devoted to The Practice.
Peace, Health and Happiness -sophie
Sutra 1.1 - atha yoganusasanam
Translated: Here begins the authoritative instruction on Yoga or as Jake summed up "Yoga is Now", it's not then and it's not next its right now.. and Now is Now & yoga is Now.
Sutra 1.2 - yogasgchittavrttinrodhah
Translation: Yoga is the cessation of the the fluctuations of the mind or 'Through the practice of Yoga we are able to quiet the chattering mind'
Sutra 1.3- tada drastuh svarupe vasthanam
Translation: Yoga allows us the ability to control the preconceptions and distorted understandings of the mind & frees us up to see our Truth.