One of my friends (A mental health therapist) told me recently that I am honest and transparent but what is in my mind is not straightforward when we are talking about some situations in life. It takes a while for me to digest this because I always thought that I was a straightforward person, who normally just expressed what was in my mind without holding on to anything. Then I realized, it might be true that I expressed what I felt transparently without thinking clearly and straightforwardly addressing the situation because I have not fully accepted the unpredictable or uncontrollable incidents. Or, I was just too eager to change the situation according to my expectations.
This reminds me of all the Yoga Sutra teachings that I have learned during my Yoga Teacher Training, where our teacher told us about the power of daily 'Sutra Shower'. We can clear our lens to better understand the situation through yoga practice. As I understand, yoga practice is not just physical body posture and movement through asana but involves our mind and breath regulation as well, and the Yoga Sutras is a guide or handbook for all Yogis.
"The Yoga Sutras, widely regarded as the authoritative text on yoga, is a collection of aphorisms outlining the eight limbs of yoga. These “threads” (as sutra translates from Sanskrit) of wisdom offer guidelines for living a meaningful and purposeful life." yogajournal.com
There are many versions of the Sutra translations from its original Sanskrit, but particularly in Chapter 1.2, "Yogas-citta-vrtti-nirodhah", we understand generally 'Yoga is the progressive settling of a chattering mind'. I also love how my Yoga Sutra Teacher, Kate Holcombe explains this by clearing our lens and being free from all suffering. According to the Yoga Sutras, there are Eight Limbs of Yoga, and the standard 'body exercise' that emphasizes body posture is asana practice, which is one of the Eight Limbs.
The entry point is through the practice of Yama, the five basic principles of our behaviors towards others, and Niyama, the five disciplines of self-observance. In 2019, I kickstarted a charity project, 'ANANTALUV' where 'Ananta' means 'endless' or 'limitless' in Sanskrit. The project name represents endless love and our mission is to promote positive thinking and happiness through the sharing of Yoga Sutras. Initially, we planned a Yoga Retreat in Siem Reap, Cambodia that included a voluntary cultural sharing experience at the Cambodian Children's House of Peace but the retreat was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak and global lockdown. We shifted our focus to social media content sharing, and all the content was created and managed by our Summer Project Intern, Joanna Bobeva who plays the role of the Social Media Manager.
There are some wonderful archives that I would like to share in this space:
What is Ahimsa - The first principle of Yama?
Ahimsa can be interpreted as not harming ourselves or others. Most commonly this is thought of in terms of physical harm, but it is equally important to think of it as mental harm. Negative thoughts have an impact on your well-being, and it is important to recognize them so you can calm your mind and find peace.
How can we apply Ahimsa in life?
What is Satya - The second principle of Yama?
How does Satya work with Ahimsa in life?
What is Asteya - The third principle of Yama?
How to practice Asteya in everyday life?
What is Brahmacharya - The fourth principle of Yama?
What is Aparigraha - The fifth principle of Yama?
How does Brahmacharya work with Aparigraha in life?
How does Ahimsa work with Aparigraha in life?
A simple 10-question explains how the practice of Yoga applies to our everyday living, where a constant practice will help us in our body and mind healing process, and set us free from all suffering whether it is mental or physical. As I always said, I am not perfect, and still learning. Sharing is the best way to help each other to move forward and I hope you gain something from this article.
NOTE: Archive from the ANANTALUV Project in a flipbook viewing manner on the issuu.com platform
Feel free to leave your thoughts through a comment or drop me a private message.
May all living beings in this Universe be free and happy! OM, SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI
❤️ 🧡 💛 💚 💜
Chopra. 2019. Yoga Sutras 101: Everything you need to know
Emma Newlyn, Ekhart Yoga
Yogapedia, 2019. The Eight Limbs of Yoga
Yogapedia, 2018. The Yoga Sutras
Yoga Journal, 2021. Intro to Yoga Philosophy: Sutra School 1.2