Study and practice

Classes have been exhilarating this week with little, unexpected improvements in asana. I’ve always struggled with the balance poses and it was a surprise to be able to get into a steady veerbhadrasana 3 and uthita Padangushtasana. It happened while I was not looking and because of my teacher. I didn’t expect to even touch the pose when she first demonstrated it. How do I keep everything straight and hold the big toe? I’d be hopping on one foot! The systematic way of leading to the pose made it possible to reach the asana. But the real beauty lies in the integrity required to reach there. Something I learnt early on is to focus on how to work rather than aim to reach a pose. The asana happens by itself. One of the things I love about the system is the correlation between different families of asanas. Supta padangushtasana and veerbhadrasana 3 are twins! 

There is a renewed curiosity and playfulness about asana as I go about my chores. Sometimes there is a spontaneous veerbhadrasana 3 just to see if it still happens. And it does! Doing dishes is tadasana time for the legs while folding clothes is an easy time for virasana. I’m still reluctant to do baddakonasana or upavishtakonasana although I need that more. 

Today’s reading was just one line and its commentary from Gaudapāda’s Kārikā. 

आत्मसत्यानुबोधेन न सङ्कल्पयते यदा ।

अमनस्तां तदा याति ग्राह्याभावे तदग्रहम् ।।३२।।

When the mind does not bring forth any more of these imaginations because of the knowledge of Truth, which is Ātman (pure Consciousness), then it ceases to be mind and that (mind) becomes free from the idea if cognition for want of objects of cognition.

Swami Chinmayananda puts it very simply by telling it is sufficient for us to understand that the mind is nothing other than the ‘focal point’ of the five organs of knowledge. 

It echoed a recent question from prashnayantra for me. Thank you Michael for pointing out this fascinating resource. Although it is way beyond my current level of practice, I believe the questions will simmer somewhere in the background and prompt a deeper enquiry when I am ready. A seed sown that will sprout in the readiness of time. In the meanwhile, I endeavour with all my shortcomings and flaws to the best of my ability.

Hari Om

2 thoughts on “Study and practice

  1. Thanks Sonia! I was so engrossed in your post, I failed to notice that you mentioned me. What an honor! Also guilty of spontaneous Vira 3, uttanasana, and prasarita padottanasana-s whilst doing laundry.

    Liked by 1 person

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