Category Archives: learning yoga

is yoga a science? sutra 3.27 on the sun

is yoga a science? sutra 3.27 on the sun

Is yoga a science? Or just a way to know the self? Maybe they’re the same thing? Let’s think this through with a little help from the sutras, shall we? Human beings are a curious lot. And we are reasonably¬†good at recognizing patterns. Once we spot one, or an anomaly without pattern, we want to… read more

knowledge through direct experience: sutra 3.26

science vs direct experience: sutra 3.26 on subtle energy

Our world, our universe, is made up of many things. Some of them we can see, hear, smell, taste, touch. Some of them we can’t. Some of them we can remember, some of them are less present. Some are part of our immediate space and some are far away. We can be certain of so… read more

there's an elephant in my sutras!

there’s an elephant in my sutras! sutra 3.25 on how to be superhuman

I love that there’s an elephant in the yoga sutras. An elephant! What, you might wonder, does an elephant have to do with your yoga practice? You might as well ask how anything bears on your practice, which is indeed part of the point, as Busia’s translation makes clear: sutra 3.25: baleshu hasti baladini Correct… read more

how to find happiness in 3 quick steps: sutra 3.24 on friendliness

how to find happiness in 3 quick steps: sutra 3.24 on friendliness

Did you know that if you make yourself smile, even if it’s “fake,” it will begin to change your mood, making you more inclined to feel like smiling without faking it? Yup, happiness causes smiling, and smiling can increase happiness. Similarly, if you think positive thoughts, the world looks a little brighter. It doesn’t eradicate… read more

exploring the inevitable: sutra 3.23 on knowing death

exploring the inevitable: sutra 3.23 on knowing death

Well, this might sound a bit morose, but what we’re talking about here is getting to know the concept of death, not actual death itself. Let’s see what the yogis have to say: sutra 3.23: sopakramam nirupakramam cha karma tat samyama aparanta jnanam aristebhyah va Karma is either quick to fructify or slow. By samyama… read more

how to be heard: sutra 3.22 on sound

how to be heard: sutra 3.22 on sound

I love radio. More specifically, I love hearing human stories on the radio or podcasts, stories made up entirely of sound. Being stories that people are telling, radio or podcast stories are primarily spoken sound, but usually also include music, effects and background noise, creating a soundscape that puts human sound with non-human sound potentially… read more

what do you see? sutra 3.21 on invisibility

what do you see? sutra 3.21 on invisibility

Yoga –“capital Y” yoga– is an experience of something internal and essential that occurs when the mind is completely still. What we practice everyday is also rightly called yoga, because it is the process of using precise tools to bring about the experience of samadhi (through Yoga). It is said that you know this samadhi… read more

what questions will you ask? sutra 3.20 on objects of samyama

what questions will you ask? sutra 3.20 on objects of samyama

There it is on page 21 of Jim Holt’s Why the World Exists: cause for a minor existential crisis in my head. “Why is there something rather than nothing?” What a great question! But do I care to ponder it? That is the question that causes real confusion in my head. Have I stumbled on… read more

because I know myself, I know you: sutra 3.19 on self-knowledge

because I know myself, I know you: sutra 3.19 on self-knowledge

I’m a little obsessed these days with the science show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. I love understanding the world through science (though I am by no means a scientist) and articles and shows like Cosmos that explain how the world works, how it actually works on at least one level, remind me to pause and… read more

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