Sutra 3.7: trayam antar angam purvebhyah
These three are inner spiritual practices compared to the other five already described – viz., discipline, observances, posture, exercise of the life-force, and introversion of attention. Translation and interpretation by Swami Venkatesananda
The process of yoga takes us from an experience of the world shaped by boundaries and identities to one of limitless expansion. (This is in fact what our universe seems to be doing – expanding ever further from its origin.) Behaviors, Asana, Pranayama, and Pratyahara are practices that acknowledge boundaries and identity, indeed they make use of them. They are practices that connect us to an experience of life that has joy, sorrow, friends, lovers, family, work, play, hopes, dreams, and so on. The practices don’t deny the richness of life but instead offer a bit of a helping hand to enjoy it thoroughly.
Meditation and the processes of samyama, can also help, but they do so not by getting into the nitty gritty with you, but by giving you a means by which to put the nitty gritty aside and, according to the ancient yogis, experience consciousness as it is. This experience is not like anything else; it doesn’t have boundaries or identity. Which also means it’s hard to talk about and define in our normal terms. Suffice to say, say the yogis, it takes your awareness in – deeper into consciousness, just consciousness – than the other practices of yoga.
Movement towards your center is all a matter of degrees, though –everything you do can move you towards or away from an awareness of your self. Yoga practices are intended to help you move closer, little by little.
Hari om tat sat!
Experience your true self and bring it into every moment of your living!
The Yoga Sutras are a classical text on yoga–a guidebook of sorts.
Each week, 216 teacher Esther Palmer dives into one of the sutras and we let it take us where it takes us.