June 12, 2021

Sutra 2.22: Chop Wood, Carry Water

Sadhana Pada: Yoga in Action (Experience the Now)

    2.22 Krtartham prati nastam apy anastam tad anya sadharanatvat 
    • krtartham = whose purpose has been fulfilled / successful
    • prati = in opposition / against
    • nastam = destroyed / dissolved
    • apy = although / even
    • anastam = not disappeared / not destroyed
    • tad = that / these
    • anya = other / different
    • sadharanatvat = normal / average / commonness

My interpretation of this week's sutra corresponds to the Zen proverb "chop wood, carry water" because I know that over time yoga changes you. 

At first (especially in the west), it starts with the physical. You become stronger, more flexible, more stable, etc. 

You might start to notice next that you become a bit calmer and a lot more centred . . . (consistent deep breaths will do that!) 

The next stage of "yogic change" is a lot more work. It's the training of the mind. So far in this yoga sutra study training the mind has been THE main focus of this text, but it's really difficult to tap into this in an average, every day yoga class (especially within the structure of modern classes) It's this training of the mind (which a lovely friend recently referred to as building the mind muscle) that I interpret as making all the difference in transformation because yoga is essentially working to transform you from who you have become (due to conditioning, upbringing, working through various stories and interpretations, etc.) back to who you really are.

My practice this last year, and especially these last few months, has been very different than what it once was. The physical asanas (which I do love) have become a lot less important than building the mind muscle right now. Though I am very far from "enlightened," through my mind training, I have been developing an awareness and understanding of a different way to BE. Before this awareness, I "chopped wood and carried water" (what would be the modern day equivalent . . . . pay taxes and clean house?!) Now, I still chop wood and carry water with a whole new sense of awareness, being and seeing these tasks and the world in a different light.

The gist of this sutra is yoga changes you, but it doesn't necessarily mean you will looked changed or do things differently on the outside. So, my question for you to ponder this week is this . . . . How has yoga changed you? How can you dig deeper into peeling away layers to remember who you really are? How can you (as that same friend said) become an athlete of your mind?

Enjoy your week and feel free to share your findings or reach out if there's any way I can serve and support you.       

Sutra 2.22 Although destroyed for those whose purpose has been fulfilled, in opposition 
these (obstacles) have not disappeared for others and are considered normal.

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