The yoga sutras are poetic texts of ancient wisdom. But their power lays dormant until we understand them well enough to apply them in a way that clearly enhances our lives and our communities. A good yoga teacher is a bridge builder; someone who can create revelation in students by relating new wisdom to what students already know and understand. I work weekly with a group of yoga teachers who are advancing their training by studying the sutras together. We are enjoying chewing on these aphorisms (bits of timeless wisdom) and figuring new ways to build bridges of understanding for our selves and our students. This week we are looking at Sutra 11 from chapter 2: The Sadhana Pada – the path of soul growth
The sutra says: The Hindrances (kleshas) are to be Removed by Meditation
Basically Patanjali is saying, “don’t waste time trying to battle hindrances with action or mental control because it is not going to work. They must be ‘pulled out by the roots’, which means getting down to the energetic source and this requires going deeper than action and thought; this requires meditation”.
Remember the hindrances are:
1. Avidya – ignorance of our vibrational nature (and therefore our creative power)
2. Asmita – thinking we are acting alone and effecting only ourselves
3. Raga – desperate wanting
4. Dvesa – disgust or repulsion
5. Abynavesha – fear of things falling apart
Now these hindrances arise with each new level we move ourselves towards. Read that again: These hindrances arise again and again each time we grow further into our fullness. In other words, each time we have a new set of desires, these hindrances must be dissolved in order to align vibrationally with the desires and allow them in. “If you want it, you can have it, when you get out of the way…”
Think about something you are living now that long ago felt out of reach. Get it clear in your mind. Now, go back to how it felt before you had it and review the hindrances. Can you see how Adviya was present for you as you held the not-yet-manifested-desire? This would be the a feeling of overwhelm at what is involved in making the dream come true. Perhaps a feeling that it is impossible. Can you sense how Asmita was present when you held that not-yet-manifested desire? This would be the feeling of having to act alone and compete against others in order to get what you want. Can you sense how there was some desperate wanting? Do you remember some repulsion (perhaps at the thought of failure or self-judgement about your ability to succeed)? And can you recall Abynavesha; the fear that things would “die” or fall apart completely in your attempt to move forward?
And now here you are living that thing that felt so out of reach back then. Whether or not you realized it, you breathed through the kleshas (hindrances), became a vibrational match to them and expanded! And you did it with some form of meditation. Remember that meditation is not just sitting on your butt and breathing in silence. It can anything that lines you up with source (e.g. makes you feel free and hopeful). It could be simple going about your life with a song in your heart and complete trust in divine order…yes, that is meditation.
Now, presently in your life, there are a new set of kleshas between you and where you want to go next. Can you sense them? Write a short list of desires present in your life now. When you read the list, notice where your mind goes and what your emotional state is. Can you sense the kleshas in these reactions?
Now here’s the thing to really get: you do not have to systematically focus on these kleshas and slash at them in order to dissolve them. In fact that would more likely strengthen them. Sometimes the best “meditation” is to let go of thinking about how to get your goals without letting go of wanting them. Something like, “yes I want all that, but today I am going to the beach with my dog to breathe and throw the frisbee.” That is part of the meditation that dissolves hindrances. Here’s the paradox… it is when we “step away from trying to make things happen” that we are inspired and guided to the most effective and fun ways to make them happen.
So why even care about the hinderances if happy distraction is the meditation that dissolves them? Well, when we are aware of them and can feel them hovering and consciously set intention to dissolve them… oh the meditation is much more powerful and manifestation quicken!
Years ago, Jasmine stepped into my Kula Yoga Studio and I knew instantly that she would become a yoga teacher. Not just any yoga teacher, but spectacular healer and soother. Five years later, she is part of the teaching staff at Wisdom Flow Yoga Studio and I am proud to have her. She is offering a free introduction class this Sunday 5PM. Don’t miss this opportunity to relax and unwind, turn inward, and recharge yourself at then end of the weekend. Here’s what Jasmine says about her class:
Dear friends, if your muscles feel tight and you want to give yourself an inner body massage then please join us at Wisdom Flow Yoga this Sunday for a free Deep Stretch class from 5:00pm – 6:30pm. Deep stretch is a practice of yin yoga. The focus is to soften the body and calm the mind. Support yourself with an abundance of props, then relax into a posture for three to five minutes. Follow cues designed to make one “let go” and unwind. With a steady practice one can gain greater flexibility physically, emotionally and spiritually. Increase mental clarity through reflection and meditation. Cultivate virtues such as humility, courage, patience, acceptance and forgiveness. Deep stretch gives balance to any active lifestyle. Call Jasmine with questions – 808-298-5562
Kofi Busia comes to Maui
March 8th and 9th World-renown and celebrated Iyengar teacher Kofi Busia comes to Maui. Saturday and Sunday 4-6 PM join Kay Huckabee and Kofi Busia for life-changing workshops at Wisdom Flow Studio – 95 Makawao Avenue, Pukalani, HI, 96768. Kofi Busia will also offer Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday morning workshops in Paia at the old Paia Yoga location on Hana Highway next to the fire station. Friday evening asana 6-8 PM for $50, Saturday and Sunday Pranayama 8-9:30AM for $30 and Saturday and Sunday 9:30-11:30AM $50. Email Kay or call 808-298-9642 for details and to register. Early registration highly recommended as these workshops usually sell out. Don’t miss this opportunity to study the art of living widely and moving freely with Kofi Busia.
Kofi Busia and Kay Huckabee invite the entire community to a Vegan Potluck with the Goddesses and Gods of Hindu mythology Sunday March 9th 6:30-8PM Wisdom Flow Studio – FREE. Kofi will share the stories behind the characters in the fabulous painting on the Wisdom Flow Studio wall as we enjoy home cooked food from all our kitchens. You do not want to miss this Upanishad (sit down together) with master of yogic wisdom. This is a rare opportunity to receive life-enriching wisdom in the presence of your community. Bring the family!
Our new studio is located at 95 Makawao Avenue in Pukalani. We are upstairs in back with an ocean view! Located perfectly between Upcountry and Down-Country, our Pukalani Yoga studio is open and serving the well being of Maui’s good people. Iyengar Yoga, Flow Yoga, Dance and Martial Arts Classes, Keiki Dance, PreNatal, PostNatal, and very-beginner’s Yoga. See our rich schedule and bookmark the Maui Class Schedule page. Join us Saturday mornings for a combination of Yoga 8:30-10 followed by Dance Divine 10:30-Noon (self-directed community dance). Tea Time in between gives us an opportunity to connect with our community, meet new friends and talk story. Feel free to call Jennifer 268-4095 with any questions about the classes or studio policies. See our Class Descriptions page to find the classes that are right for you.
Wouldn’t it feel wonderful to have the skill to lead an empowering yoga class with variations for all levels and therapeutic hands-on adjustments ? Can you feel the satisfaction of having your students leave feeling peaceful and hopeful? Wisdom Flow Yoga School is dedicated to preparing you to teach intelligently, effectively and joyfully. Read More. We look forward to welcoming you to this intensive 15-day program. In this program, you will be challenged to use your voice everyday; as a result your ability to translate complex methodology and philosophy into clear inspiring instruction will grow. This is the key to excellence in leadership. Upon completing the program you will be ready and eager to offer yoga classes. It is our hope that you learn to teach in a way that leaves your students feeling educated, empowered and joyful. Course fees $2500. Accommodations can be easily arranged for off-island students. Call us! 808-268-4095. Alumni Testimonials Video. Call for more information 808-268-4095 or email Aloha@WisdomFlowYoga.com
Reserve your Spot for June 2014 Training Today
Wisdom Flow Yoga blends the feminine flow of spinal waves and graceful transitions with the masculine wisdom of optimal joint alignment and core strength. The awareness within the movement unites the science of how the body works with the organic beauty of how spirit moves through it. This is our metaphor for living a balanced life. We seek to understand and harmonize with the laws of nature, and within that life-honoring structure, celebrate our unbounded spirit. Read more…
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Advanced Teacher Training September 20-28, 2014
Earn your 500 hour ERYT certification with this modular course from Wisdom Flow Yoga. Start with 9-days live training on Maui and follow up with weekly assignments and webinar discussions for the following three months. This keeps course fees down while you have the freedom to practically apply the knowledge as you received it in systematic stages. Details in our Information and Registration package. Take a look at our Advanced Curriculum. Your oral finals are conducted using Skype and your final project is submitted as a video upload. Find out more…