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Yoga Sutra 2.16: Future Pain Can Be Avoided


I have decided that Sutra 2.16 is now one of my favorite yoga sutras.

heyaṃ duḥkhamanāgatam


It means, future pain can be avoided by committing to our practice of yoga.


Through practices on and off our mat we gain insight and prevent future suffering.


One of my favorite Gabby Bernstein quotes is, “You will continue to meet the same person in different bodies until you show up for the universal lesson.”


I was in more than one abusive relationship in my twenties with a narcissist. Lovebombing, manipulation, gaslighting, triangulation, playing the victim, revenge, lies, word salad. It took me falling in love with the most extreme version of this person at age 26 for me to step back & realize it.


Last week I met him again.


A stranger spotted me in a cafe, started chatting.


1 Hour later he was “smitten” with me, said connection with people like me was rare, that he’d spent the last three years single and never dated anymore, but I was special, I was different. “I must have done something right in my life to end up here, with you, Alex.”


I got half-sucked into this. Because Alex from her teens & twenties did. Over. and over. Again. Each time it would end a few months or a year later in a destroyed friendship, heightened alcohol use, depression, etc. I know Disney movies sometimes suggest otherwise…but you can’t be someone’s soulmate if you don’t even know them. And more often than not lovebombing is the start of an abusive relationship.


This reflection is meant to say nothing bad about this person I met last week. I see him with the deepest compassion. I don’t even think he was trying to lie to me or manipulate me. I send him love and light .


But I can prevent future pain from happening. I can stop this cycle before it begins again.Sutra 2.16.


By doing our asana/pranayama/meditation practice every day, we start to cultivate the self reflection skills to see when we’re getting sucked into the same patterns. We realize that we have power - to change the choices we make and then change the outcome of these choices.


By practicing whole hearted attention in everything we are doing, we can prevent future pain from happening.


This is yoga.





Want to learn more about the Yoga Sutras?


Join Alex's next Masterclass on the Yoga Sutras. Sign up for the waitlist here.


Want to quit drinking & adopt a yoga practice?


Join the next 30/60 Day Sober Girls Yoga Challenge. Find out the details here.


Want to become a yoga teacher?


Join the next 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. Find out the details here.


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