*First DG Class of 2017* Hatha Yoga at Discovery Green Conservancy 3-4-2017 and notes on Yoga Sutras 2.22 to 2.33

Thanks to everyone who attended today's Hatha Yoga class at Discovery Green Conservancy! I am extremely grateful for your attendance and dedication. Below are the Yoga Sutra summaries from the past few months of teaching (Sutras 2.22 to 2.33). In class today we covered Sutra 2.33, which is exceptional!

Sutra 2.22: describes the association with the seen world from a liberated one's perspective. The medium of cognition, or the external world, is not of interest to the liberated soul. The soul has entered 'union' and is no longer in need of the medium for the journey of Self-discovery. The medium still exists to the consciousness because it is known to all life but it is not a hindrance as it was prior to enlightenment, the purpose has been served. This does not mean that the liberated ones do not have to participate in the medium anymore, yet they exist in a different state of union than known before, the consciousness has surpassed the play with the medium.

Sutra 2.23: Here Patanjali expresses why and how union happens with the two categories described in 2.21; union between consciousness and the medium of consciousness. To experience the essence of material and consciousness creates union at a deep level. Return to meditation on the elements, vibrations, the body, and the mind.

Sutra 2.24: Patanjali is continuing with the notion that all of life is in 2 categories, consciousness and the medium of consciousness. He states that there is a ‘covering’ that encompasses all and creates the illusion of separation and this covering causes union. By meditation on the Self, we can attain liberation, not by doing anything, but by undoing, by waiting and observing carefully through our own vessel. You are already perfect and liberated, the illusion is covering your purity and allowing us to experience life.

Sutra 2.25: When the covering is removed, union is also removed, then we enter into a state of liberation. We must again verify all of this knowledge through our experience, in meditation, can you isolate the energy that is making you conscious?

Sutra 2.26: Patanjali points out that ignorance is avoided by unwavering concentration on reality, which is beyond the mental description, it is a deep knowing of consciousness.

Sutra 2.27: The master reveals the seven stages of enlightenment of consciousness, luckily, Swami Satyananda knows the seven, for Patanjali did not list them, he notes “Firstly, realization of what is to be avoided; secondly, awareness of the means for that removal; thirdly, awareness of spiritual evolution; fourthly, awareness of fulfillment and accomplishment; fifthly, awareness of the purpose of experience and liberation; sixth, awareness of fulfillment of the work of the 'gunas'; and lastly, awareness of one’s own self.” (quote from ‘Four Chapters on Freedom’ by Swami Satyananda Saraswati).

Yoga Sutra 2.28: Up until this point, Patanjali has been giving the students knowledge through the intellect by understanding mental concepts, this is the work that must be done first, knowing the difference between your body, your mind, and your Self. Concepts help to pinpoint each part and once known, we can begin to practice union together. In 2.28 he states that constant practice of yoga will lead one to purity.

Yoga Sutra 2.29: Now, for the steady practitioner, he reveals the 8 limbs of yoga, this is near the middle of the text because this information is not for everyone, only for those who are and have been dedicated to the pre-work of yoga and living as a Yogi. In this sutra, he lists the 8 limbs and following this lesson, he goes in order, step by step on the 8 parts, which are all mentioned in 2.29, they are: “self-restraints, fixed rules, postures, breath control, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and samadhi.” Swami Satyananda gives a pearl of wisdom here “Meditation should not be practiced in a hurry; there should be no haste… The wisest way for the aspirant would be to practice all these stages as slowly as possible…” (quote from ‘Four Chapters on Freedom’ by Swami Satyananda Saraswati).

Yoga Sutra 2.30: Patanjali begins with self-restraints, the first limb of the 8. It all comes down to ahimsa, non-violence, and love towards all beings, truthfulness, honesty, sensual abstinence, and non-possessiveness is the grand summary.

Yoga Sutra 2.31: states that practicing these disciplines are for everyone in any time and in any place of incarnation, without exception.

Yoga Sutra 2.32: mentions how important cleanliness, being content, self-study, and surrender are to the practitioner, these are the fixed observances or rules.

Yoga Sutra 2.33: This lesson is a true gem to mankind. Here he guides one to peace by maintaining opposition to negative thinking. He advises that if something disturbs our peace, we should concentrate on the opposite tendencies. His example is that hate is overcome by love. As a personal note here, I recall when I was younger, I remembered a point when I would regularly say ‘I hate’ this or that, and one day I caught myself and I then made a game out of my mind and every time I said I hated something, I would then immediately say that I loved it, out loud. I forgot about this practice for some time but am back to it. One case here that has stuck with me is washing the dishes, it was something I ‘hated’ but now after re-wiring my thought, I genuinely love washing the dishes!

Thanks for the support, feel free to comment and share. See you next week - Namaste!