I’m enjoying the break afforded this time of year. I don’t need to be anywhere at a particular time, the housework is mostly done and I can do with the days as I please. This morning that meant the freedom to meditate for as long as my body would let me. This led to two points of focus for the new year (I can hear Dr Zoidberg’s voice in my head saying “someone say new year’s resolutions?”). The first is to reignite the Sutras thread I began some time ago. My way of exploring, working through, getting to know and applying each of the 196 Yoga Sutras commonly ascribed to Patanjali. The second is to ease the tension in my hips that will help me sit in meditation longer before the numbness sets in!
The last I wrote about was sutra 1.8. Rereading this I realise why I may have been distracted enough to have shelved this project for a while. The first chapter of sutras (there are four) is referred to as samadhipada and concentrates on the problems encountered and ways to overcome them in our attempts to reach a state of Yoga or union.
Sutra 1.9 Sabdajnana anupati vastusunyah vikalpah
Imagination is the comprehension of an object based only on words and expressions, even though the object is absent. TKV Desikachar
Verbal knowledge devoid of substance is fancy or imagination. BKS Iyengar
For me this is interpreted as finding out what is true by testing ideas, dreams, emotions in the real world and giving them substance. Revisiting this sutras project does all this when combined with the various forms of physical yoga practise (asana, pranayama, mediation).
As for regaining some flexibility in my hips that seems to have dropped off lately…This is a clear indication I need to address the stationary-mobility balance, incorporating more incidental movement and dedicated yoga practise to open and strengthen the hips, glutes, legs and stretch the waist, sides and back. More importantly I have a very real anchor for my yoga practise over the next couple of weeks!