Ease and Steadiness in the Restless, Churning Waters of Life.
Yoga Sutras 2:28 “By the practice of the limbs of yoga, the impurities dwindle away and there dawns the light of wisdom leading to discriminative discernment.” The practice of the eight limbs of yoga will not bring you anything new, they will simply remove what is unnecessary and as the impurities dwindle, the wisdom that already resides within you will emerge.
The third limb of the eight limbs of yoga is asana. Reverend Jaganath Carrrera describes asana as a steady comfortable posture in chapter two verse forty-six of the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. He goes on to explain that we should cultivate a posture that allows us to focus our mind and breath without interference of aches pains or restlessness.
The ultimate purpose of hatha yoga or yoga asana is so that we can achieve ease and steadiness in seated meditation.
Chapter 2:47 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras goes on to say, “By lessening the natural tendency for restlessness and by meditating on the infinite, posture is mastered.” Reverend Jaganath Carrera takes us into the symbolic meaning of this sutra by translating Ananta/Infinite and pointing out that it is also the cosmic snake and symbol of power for Vishnu, the God of preservation.
Vishnu is often depicted as sitting on Ananta, with the head of Ananta forming a canopy over Vishnu. Vishnu represents the higher Self and Ananta represents the power of the Universe under His feet and at His Service.
All around Vishnu the waters of life are churning and restless. Much like us, we experience the restless and churning waters of our life. Can you relate to this? The restless and churning waters of your life?
This Monday I experienced restless, churning and some may even say turbulent waters of life. I woke up with a migraine and so I was struggling from the get-go.Turbulent waters. As we rode bikes to take Trinity to school, it seemed that everybody was grumpy about the fact that it was Monday. Restlessness. One of my best friends was going through a really tough time and so I was really drawn into her personal trauma. Turbulent Waters. By the end of the day I was completely despondent. Churning.
For us, Ananta could represent the power of our yoga mats under our feet and at our service. Each time we step onto our yoga mats we have the opportunity to quiet the churning and restless waters of our life by practicing yoga asana.
For me, this week, it took resetting my intention to keep my eyes on my own yoga mat and focus on my own ease and steadiness. Tuesday was a complete regroup, in fact it wasn’t even until Wednesday that I had enough energy to come back to my yoga mat.
Chapter 2:48 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s explains that once you lessen restlessness and meditate on the infinite you will be less influenced by the dualities of the mind. Some examples of dualities that come into balance through our practice are masculine and feminine, light and dark shadow sides, intuition and logic, receptivity and creativity, yin and yang, life and death. Opposites are not really opposites, but rather two sides of the same thing and we are usually somewhere on the continuum. Reverend Jaganath Carrera suggests that this sutra implies that the purpose of asana is not simply physical, but also mental as well.
Our intention today in our asana practice is to be steady comfortable and focus our minds and breath without interference of aches pains or restlessness. We will strive to achieve ease and steadiness in the seated meditation/lotus posture. And we will practice to achieve ease and steadiness in cobra with the churning waters of life around us. Our practice today will focus on lessening restlessness during our yoga asana practice.
Yoga 226 Share-able Quote, “The antidote to restlessness is a deep abiding in where you are right now.” Jeff Goins, The Inbetween
Yoga 226 Quote “Despite the churning, restless waters of life, I experience peace, ease and steadiness wherever I am.” Melissa West