My teacher @rolf_gates_ has something that he always says in class. We come to tadasana (mountain) and move freely for a few moments. After all the movement he invites us to freeze in stillnesss. He cues us to imagine we are a snow globe all shook up. And he then invites us to allow the sand to settle, and the water to clear. The sand settles, the water clears. This is Sutra 1.3.
Sutra 1.1 is Atha yoga anushasanam. Now, yoga. Every moment of our lives has prepared us for this, and now we’re here: ready for yoga.
Sutra 1.2 is the purpose of yoga. Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah: We do yoga to release our mind chatter. The stress, the worry, the gossip. Yoga is to let that go.
And the sand settling, and water clearing? This is the result of yoga. This is sutra 1.3. Tada drashtuh svarupevasthanam: the sand is the stuff that clouds our perception of reality. The veils. The kleshas. The obstacles. We release that. And we discover who we are.
My teacher also says he believes that all of us have come to yoga because of our pain. We come to yoga in search of a better way. We hit a point where we say: there has GOT to be more to life than this. Yoga brings us to the now, which is often painful and confronting, because we’ve been numbing the now with Social Media, or Alcohol, or Gossip, or whatever our vices are.
Once we arrive in the now, we are forced to look at ourselves head on. We can see that all the chaos, all the negativity, all the judgements….. all that is harming us.
Next we are guided to let all of this go - and find peace and contentment in this moment. And then we discover that we are none of that stuff. We aren’t the labels people have put on us, we’re not our diagnosis, we’re not our addictions, we’re not our trauma, we’re not our pain, we’re not our suffering. We’re not our thoughts, we’re not our bodies. We find our true selves in the now. Sutra 1.3. The sand settles, the water clears. And we discover who we are, why we’re here, and what really matters.
This is the reason we do yoga.