Day 30 of #yogasutrachallenge: YS 1.30 Vyadi-styana-pramadalasyavirati-bhranti-darsanalabdha-bhumikatvanavasthitatvani citta-viksepas te’ntarayah

Day 30 of #yogasutrachallenge: YS 1.30 Vyadi-styana-pramadalasyavirati-bhranti-darsanalabdha-bhumikatvanavasthitatvani citta-viksepas te’ntarayah My interpretation: Disturbances, which distract the mind, are disease, apathy, doubt, carelessness, laziness, lack of detachment, misapprehension, not having a base for concentration, and instability. We need clarity and focus. As we saw yesterday, Patanjali considers devotion to the divine a form of cosmic psychotherapy to prepare the mind for enlightenment. Here, he lists out the ‘disturbances’ that we otherwise face. These are different to the ‘obstacles’ (klesas) he has mentioned before, which are much more deep-rooted. But still, they are the constant enemies of yoga, and by being aware of them we stand a better chance of avoiding them. I’m sure we’ve all noticed this even with our asana practice. If you’re ill it’s not advisable to practice. It’s also easy to think ‘oh, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t practice today, I’ll do a bit more tomorrow maybe’ (kind of apathy, carelessness and laziness combined) or ‘well, how much is practicing really going to help me anyway?’ (Misapprehension and doubt). On the other hand, we can care too much, trying too hard to perfect a pose and tearing a muscle in the process (lack of detachment and instability). But through devotion to Isvara, your practice is no longer “yours”, it becomes Isvara’s. Everything you do, you do for the divine. And so doubts are replaced by faith, laziness and carelessness by duty, and poor concentration, misapprehension, and instability, by clear, calm composure. Your practice in turn, starts to embody the divine.

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Natalie MorrisonComment