A Discipline

Sutra I:1  ATHA YOGANUSASANAM

The first Yoga Sutra simply states that “Now the exposition of Yoga is being made.” Patanjali did not use poetic or flowery language, instead, he laid down a foundation. A mathematical formula to quiet the mind and relief suffering.

Patanjali did not use a single superfluous word. The sutras originated as a document that needed to be memorized and in a sense are a mnemonic device.  He used two words and I used eight to translate his meaning.

The wording may be simple, the instructions simple, but the practice is difficult.

For one thing, Yoga takes discipline. The word discipline means creating an order within yourself. Discipline also means the capacity to learn, the capacity to know, the capacity to do and to keep doing. OSHO “Yoga The Science of the Soul”

To create this sense of order within yourself you need to sit still for a while and listen to what is going on inside your head. The catch is that most people cannot sit still for even a few moments.

Indeed it is the reason Hatha Yoga (movement-based Yoga) came into being in the first place. This new form of Yoga grew out of the Raja Yoga outlined in the Yoga Sutras and was codified starting in the 11th century. Hatha Yoga is discussed more fully in the movement section.

We are way more distracted here in the 21st century, with fast paced on-the-go lives full of machines and electronic devices.

Just sitting there is one of the hardest things you will ever ask your brain to voluntarily do. Not move, just sit, you will most likely find that your body and your mind will revolt almost immediately.

Your body starts fidgeting, you develop an itch, discomfort, etc. Your mind will start throwing up thoughts, excuses to quit, and catchy stories. Your eyes will want to wander around the room, to the clock, to your phone etc.

This is normal. Every single person who has tried meditation, including Patanjali and Buddha, has encountered resistance to the practice.

A lot of people tell me the same about Yoga. Before most people even take that first step on to a yoga mat they have already come up with all the reasons they just can’t, not today—maybe tomorrow or next week.

And if we do manage to give Hatha or Meditation a try, we often quit without really giving it a chance. Showing up and being consistent is even more difficult.

Practices such as Hatha Yoga and Meditation can and usually do feel pointless and counterproductive at first. The simple act of starting something new makes people feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.

It is difficult to make it through that initial wobbly period where you feel exposed and wondering why you even started in the first place… so you begin to make excuses and quit.

With Yoga you simply begin, you have to start, jump in and just do it. Yoga is a “doing” not a “think about doing”.

Hatha Yoga and “Meditation are ways of training your mind to slow down, to be responsive, not reactive, to bring you into your life and out of the constant chatter that’s going on in your head.” Both practices are a “workout for the mind, which means [they] take work, practice and discipline. And results do not come overnight. Results come after time and effort and consistency.” Just Sit Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz

So, if you really want to know what is going on inside your mind and your body during your pregnancy and then during your labor and delivery you need them to be still enough to listen. Respond rather than react. Begin your Mediation and Prenatal Yoga practices today.

Because guess what else takes discipline… non-medicated Birth. --Natural, Normal, Physiological Birth--

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