So I'll admit, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras are not exactly what I call easy reading, such as you might do on the beach or before bed. But like all the "classics" we had to read in high school English class that I may never have pursued on my own, I'm glad I've read them. (And, I've actually re-read them even after yoga teacher training.) Many yogis shy away from yoga philosophy because they only find the asana (physical poses) relevant and beneficial. It's always worth the effort to dig a little deeper, so I think the Yoga Sutras are pretty much required reading for anyone who has a yoga practice.
When they were first written almost 2,000 years ago, these 196 aphorisms were intended to be words of wisdom for everyday living. When you first read them, you may not get the point. But then suddenly, you will understand what Sutra 1.18 means while you are in line at the grocery store - it's that a-ha moment when the esoteric suddenly makes sense. The power of this philosophy indeed lies in its application to our everyday lives, even many lifetimes after this advice was first given. Here's a little something I wrote a few years ago that reflects many yogis first foray into the philosophy side of things: Get Your Yoga On is a blend of the top 5 FAQs I've been asked as a yoga teacher.
And now, B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the primary influences on the yoga we know and love, has offered his commentary on the Yoga Sutras in a new book he is calling the "last major work of his lifetime". (He's 94. Still doing yoga.) His 1966 book Light on Yoga is often referred to as "the Bible of Modern Yoga", with its comprehensive coverage of almost every asana you can think of. It's quite a reference work. So I'm kind of excited to read what he has to say about the Sutras, especially after such a long, illustrious lifetime of yoga.
I have a copy of the hot-off-the-press book (January 29 was its release date, to be exact), Core of the Yoga Sutras, to give away. But you must gear up for the subject matter - yoga philosophy - and answer this question: What is the philosophy of Cowgirl Yoga? In other words, write me a short-and-sweet sutra, if you will, that reflects the true nature of Yeehaw & Namaste. I'll post the winning CY words of wisdom later this month, so post your answer as a comment, or if you prefer email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is February 15, 2013. Have some philosophy fun!
Labels: books, yoga philosophy