03 April 2011

Makeup: Philosophy

It’s difficult to choose just one favorite sutra, as there are so many that are wonderful and applicable to everyday life. Perhaps the best choice is the beginning – Atha Yoga Anusasanam: The practice of yoga begins now.

I keep coming back to this sutra because it is a reminder that yoga encompasses far more than simply an asana practice. Yoga is something we can practice every day, in every moment of our lives, and this practice can bring peace and joy to our lives if we just allow it to do so.

While it’s difficult to weigh the true value of this yoga teacher training, I think it’s safe to say that this concept is definitely one of the most important things I have learned during YTT. I have never delved so deeply into yoga philosophy – in 13 years of practice the only sutras I’d read were those printed in Yoga Journal. And honestly I just skimmed the philosophic topics for the most part. It just wasn’t what I was seeking at that time for my yoga practice. For years my yoga has been about healing and injury prevention.

YTT has brought my understanding of yoga to a deeper level, which is invaluable to me not only as I start the journey to becoming a yoga teacher, but in my daily life as well. I have a long way to go, but already the effects of concentrating on the sutras, 1:1 in particular, have had an impact on my life and interactions with the people around me. Asana is a wonderful practice to draw people into yoga, but the philosophy has so much to offer us that it seems a shame to stop for too long with just one limb of Patanjali’s eight.

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