March 28, 2020

Sutra 1.14: Here for a Good Time AND a Long Time

"Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity."
- Bruce Lee

Samadhi Pada: Yoga of Being in the Now

    1.14 Sa tu dirgha kala nairantarya satkarasevito drdhabhumih
    • sa = that/it
    • tu = in fact
    • dirgha = long
    • kala = time
    • nairantarya = continuous
    • satkara = sincerity/devotion
    • asevito = cultivated
    • drdha = firm/strong
    • bhumih = foundation/established

Last week, sutra 1.13 advised us to just practice! Sutra 1.14 builds on this by introducing three important concepts in the journey of our yoga practice. The first concept is consistency is key. Yoga is a discipline. It has numerous physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits, but it is not a get fixed or healed quick kind of system. It is a practice that requires showing up even during those times that feel difficult or those times that you really don't want to do it. 

The second idea is a steady, long time effort makes all the difference. Yoga is a life long journey of learning through practice. Ideally, you are practicing yoga (whether asana, pranayama, meditation, etc.) every . . . single . . . day! You may falter occasionally (I definitely do), so it's about making the commitment to simply start again and keep going.

The last takeaway from this sutra is to practice with sincerity or devotion. It's important to come to the practice, and to come to it everyday with a sense of enthusiasm, passion or intention. Ultimately this practice is about connecting on a deeper level to yourself and to the present moment. Do you want that connection to be meaningful, or do you want it to be based simply on habit or duty? Now, I will be first to admit that it can be difficult to muster enthusiasm or passion on those days when the last thing you feel like doing is practicing. For those times (and they WILL happen), ask yourself what your intention for doing yoga is. Having a clear intention will remind you of why you are choosing to show up and do the work during those periods of time where you just don't feel like you can.

Since we all have different reasons for showing up to our yoga practice, I can't help you with the sincerity or devotion component, but I'm hoping I can help you with the idea of consistency over a long time. In a training I recently did, one of our assignments was to complete a 40 day practice. We could choose anything we wanted, but it had to be every day consistently. If we forgot about it or didn't do it on day 25, then we would have to start again at day 1. I chose a practice of 10 minutes of breathwork and meditation. 126 days later and I'm now sitting for 30 minutes. This practice has become my non-negotiable for the day and has helped see me through the craziness of Christmas, a death in the family, a close quarters family vacation, and the chaos and uncertainty that we currently find ourselves in. Will I fall and miss a day eventually? I'm sure I will! But I now have experience of the benefits first hand, I'm clear on my intention, and I trust that this will bring me back to sitting (which has always been difficult for me) more quickly. So, my challenge for you this week is to commit to a 40 day practice. Choose a practice, start small and be consistent. I can't think of a better time than now to start tuning into ourselves on a more consistent basis.

I am always here to support you, so please reach out if you need ideas for your 40 days, some help getting set up or you'd like us to practice together virtually sometime! Sending you a ton of love, connection and support for this week ahead.         

Sutra 1.14 It (abhyasa or practice) becomes a firm foundation when practiced 
over a long time with consistently and sincerity/devotion.

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