Day 14 of #yogasutrachallenge: YS 1.14 Sa tu dirghakala nairantarya satkarasevito drahabhumih My interpretation: Practice has a firm foundation when it is carried out earnestly, without a break, for a long time. If only we could just step onto the yoga mat once a week for a couple of years, then one day, just realise we can do every pose perfectly and have found enlightenment at the same time. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. The term ‘kala’ typically means 100 years, so achieving enlightenment within a single lifetime is rare. When you approach yoga with that perspective, it takes away some of your attachment to the goal of having, say, a perfect hamanasana (splits), or stilling the mind completely. For many of us, WE WILL NEVER DO THIS in our lifetime. I know, for example, that the Universe doesn’t want me to master the side splits in this lifetime: it’s just never going to happen. However, if we are determined through the discomfort of continual practice, we may stand a chance of getting there in the next lifetime. Conversely, by freeing ourselves from that very attachment to the goal, we are getting closer to reaching it. And even if we were to reach it, or get close, we still couldn’t rest – our samsaras (our ingrained mental tendencies) always remain latent, lying beneath the surface of even the calmest mind. Bryant offers a nice way to think about this, likening the mind to a flower bed, which, however, perfected, will never be able to counteract the relentless emergence of weeds if left unattended. I personally feel like this sutra is a lesson in humility. Accepting the limits of your body and your mind, and surrendering to the practice for no other reason than faith. It’s the type of sentiment that sounds unfamiliar in today’s culture which rewards the approach of the type-A personality. It’s also a warning that as you progress, there is a risk that your ego will grow, and this will only set you back along the spiritual path.
Natalie shares her yoga life - attending yoga events, classes and workshops in London and around the world. The yoga world from the inside. Yoga philosophy - the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and much more.