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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Artwork
Season 9 - Episode 3

Review of Sutras 1.1-1.28

90 min - Talk


James begins our review of Chapter 1 with Sutras 1.1-1.28. He discusses the antarayas, or “obstacles” of everyday life, which fragment our awareness, and the tools we are offered through yoga to invite ourselves into greater presence and centeredness through skillful, steady effort.
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About This Video

Jun 20, 2021
Jnana, Raja
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4 people like this.
James you always make it sound so easy!  I have some thoughts about tehchnique - liking a technique, can this affinity to a technique be a path to blissfulness rather than merely a strong attraction towards something?  Can a narrow liking, e.g. a particular devotional song or a yoga posture become that support that brings me closer to Samādhi?  And can sticking to one technique become an "obstacle", eventually?
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Caroline S I love your question here. Coincidentally, I'm about to go on a journey tomorrow, and I've been feeling that life is constituted of one leave-taking after another. Leaving here for there, leaving there for here, in an endless cycle. I think you're quite right to point out that the clinging to one thing eventually becomes an obstacle. This also brings to mind my favourite line from a favourite play - Hamlet - "The readiness is all." 
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Kate, yes, and my wishful thinking, I suppose, is that attachment to a thing / technique, can become less of an attachment and more of a support that doesn't bind me and that I know when to "move on"
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Yes, this is a great question Caroline. And I think it can be both. As long as we are crossing the body of water, our boat is the perfect vessel, but when we reach dry land with mountains ahead, it may be time to leave our boat (at least for this part of our journey) and walk on without it. Our time working with/travelling on that vessel has reconfigured our vessel for this next stage. As my teacher said, the point of all techniques is to take us to yoga. Ultimately we have to leave all technniques behind and reside in that state. Meantime, our challenge is to work with the support of technique as skilfully and discerningly as we can!

3 people like this.
I love your comment too Kate! Life as one leave-taking after another certainly resonates with me. And I like the Hamlet reference. It's also one of my favourite plays and I would very much like to give a course on the Hamlet Purāṇa, drawing out the yogic teachings from this great English text!

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