Sutra I.1 – Chapter I, Sutra 1

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥

atha yoganusasanam

The Yoga Sutras were written in Sanskrit, a complex and multi-layered language, offering several layers of interpretation. In its crudest form, this sutra translates as “Now begins the authoritative instruction on Yoga”. As we reveal more sutras, it will become clear that this first sutra is in fact a summary of the other 194.

PRACTICAL LIVING     Beyond that though, the word “atha” is profound: it talks about commitment. Commitment to what we are doing NOW. Are you reading this blog, watching TV, talking on skype and texting all at the same time? It talks about paying attention to what you’re about to do, to what you commit to doing, whether it’s studying the sutras, having a cup of coffee with a friend or doing the dishes…How annoying is it to be having lunch with a friend who is half engaged in your conversation and half engaged in texting? “Yoga” here refers to the link that happens when we commit to something. A relationship between you and something else occurs – between two people, between you and your work, your pet, your SELF. How committed are you to your partner, friends, family? “anusasanam” says that what counts is action! We can read and intellectually understand many beautiful concepts, but if we are not acting on them, we are not doing Yoga. Yoga is transformational because it requires action – change requires action. How much information have you acquired and how much of that have you implemented? In summary: commit – connect – act.

IN THE YOGA WORLD     In Yoga, the word “atha” is powerful, it’s a blessing to a new beginning and related to commitment to several things: commitment to studying the teachings, to a guided reflection (traditionally from a Yoga teacher), to changing our habits (samskaras), to self-transformation. It’s the commitment that both the teacher and the student both make to each other. “atha” also represents the student here. The student who is humble, accepting that the guided reflection is necessary, that they are uncomfortable and want help, that these teachings have been transmitted from teacher to student for thousands of years. “atha” is a commitment to facing the discomfort, looking at it, and then making the necessary changes. Since every teacher is a student also, “atha” includes everyone studying and teaching Yoga. “yoga” then becomes the beautiful link between the student and the teacher. A link of trust, of friendliness, of growth and respect. The relationship with the right teacher helps take you from heaviness to lightness, from darkness to light. This link refers to the teachings – the profound relationship that we begin to develop with these ancient teachings. “anusasanam” then refers to the teacher. A teacher also needs the commitment: commitment to their own practice, to their own teacher, and now to the student in front of them. A teacher receives the teachings, filters them through his/her own experiences and then teaches them as is appropriate to the individual student. The sutras are filled with tools that we will explore. Tools that allow us to act.

INSPIRATIONAL PERSON     
This man, let’s call him Nate, symbolizes commitment to me. In the years I have known him, what he decides to do, he does. The 3 steps this sutra talks about: commitment – connection – action describe his life pretty accurately. He is a man who will walk across Spain rain or shine, food or no food, roof or no roof. He will change careers regardless of the hoops he has to jump or the personal challenges that arise. He will spend a day teaching a friend how to ride her bike. He will build a geodesic dome for an art festival from scratch. He will give you his undivided attention if he said he would do so. Thank you Nate for showing me the meaning of this sutra!

What are you committed to? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!

Thanks and we will define “yoga” next week!

157 thoughts on “Sutra I.1 – Chapter I, Sutra 1

  1. Nice! Sounds to me like morning clock ringing to wake me up from the daily routine sleepyness… Action and commitment, w”atha”m I waiting for!
    Thanks Lu and congrats.
    Beso

  2. Congrats for the initiative! Practical and clear. In relation with your inspirational-atha-yoga-person, I see also the “vairagya” element in this person. Whenever we surrender to what we are doing, we feel “complete”. So we are THERE. Nothing else is needed.

  3. Dear Luli, the first SUTRA has come in full blast, in a powerful moment of my Life. I feel that I’ve always ran away from true commitment, be it with family members, friends, work and other relationships – unlike Nate, whom also teaches me a lot about the NOW.

    Thank you for starting this and reminding me of the importance of committing to the NOW, being PRESENT. NOW I’ve started the new phase: living with Thomas, my BF. Wow. That is commitment and a new, completely new road for me. Let there be sun, snow, rain, or … wind! However, I hope to be committed with sustainable joy to my [our] new phase! 🙂

    Love you and thank you.
    Meka
    xx

    • Meka,
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience of this sutra: this is how the sutras come to life – by applying them to our own lives 🙂 Committing to sustainable joy sounds like a pretty darn good commitment! Love you!
      Luli

  4. Hi Lucia—Thank you for including me. Can you recommend a book for me to have that outlines the sutras so I can read, reread and use? All is well with me—Sharon Childers

    • Hi Sharon,
      It’s great to hear from you and know that you’re well 🙂 A book that was published this year that I’ve been using a lot is titled ‘LIBERATING ISOLATION : The Yogasutra of Patanjali. Translation and Commentary by Frans Moors. You can get it at http://www.khyf.net
      It will be shipped from India so will take a little time, but as far as I know it’s not sold anywhere else yet. Though it’s great to own and read the book, I super recommend you find a teacher to study with! Super big hug, Lucia.

  5. Lucia! Thanks for creating this blog! Kelvin and I miss you so much! With a 14 month old baby, it is easy to make excuses to not commit to much of anything and lack focus in doing day to day tasks. Thanks for the reminder to commit to the simplest things. As a commitment to nurture our marraige, Gwen is going to daycare tomorrow so that Kelvin and I can spend some much needed alone time. We are celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary!

    Much love,
    Joy

    • Joy! What a wonderful surprise to hear from you 🙂 And congratulations to you and Kelvin for your baby girl! Wow, I can imagine you guys being super parents. I still remember the story of you guys hanging your yoga practice from the fridge door and your friends making fun of it 🙂 I hear that parents struggle with committing to some couple time, since the commitment to the baby comes so naturally, so congrats for doing it! Super big hug and lot’s of love to the 3 of you! Lucia.

  6. Dearest Lucia,
    Congratulations for your commitment to us all in your life and others. 🙂
    As a mother and daughter of my mother and her, daughter to her mother and so on… were, are and will always be committed to our children. I follow my mother’s steps as she followed her mom’s… And I’m very grateful for who I am today. She gave us strong moral values and strength that were given to her and those values are rooted in my heart and my soul. One of them, the biggest one is LOVE. Love for yourself, love for others, love for LIFE that is given to you every day.
    I grew up in love and I am very lucky.
    So share your love to whom needs it and you’ll always feel happiness inside your heart.
    Peace and love to all! XO

    • Dearest Vaitina,
      What a beautiful comment. I love the idea of lineage in a family. And the idea of committing to transmitting your “lineage’s teachings” (your values), from your heart, from LOVE. Thank you for sharing your inspiring words! May we all have commitment to self-love, to love for others, to love for LIFE. Super big hug and lot’s of love, Lucia.

  7. 195 sutras which is 195 weeks which is more than 3 and half years. I have committed myself to studying these teachings, the sutras, connected with you mentally, technologically(!!!!)and personally to experience these teachings. Now, I will await to experience them with each passing week and patiently wait for the next thread to unfold. Thank you for starting this blog and bringing 21st century sutras out.

  8. Such a simple concept but something I never did. I felt the more things/tasks I did at once made me a better person when in fact, its quite the opposite. I (like many) am able to ‘muti-task’ as we call it:) w/ ease and now I see it was because I was never fully committing to anything. My full attention is rarely given on anything so with this surta and many more to come, I look forward to learning not only to lead a more positive…balanced life, but to teach these life lessons to anyone who is willing to learn.
    Thank you Lucia for blowing the doors open in my life.

  9. Commit-Connect-Act. Wow. Pretty powerful. Once you head is full in the right spot the actions follow….sometimes seamlessly. Once you make up your mind and erase your fears and excuses all you have left is an action plan. And you move that direction. I am working on this right now! I have decided that I will make my living as an artist. I am accepting this. And now formulating my action steps. Thanks! Your blog is awesome!

    • Hi Josh,
      Your comment touched on many other sutras that we will see soon in the near future. Fear is definitely an obstacle, and a pretty powerful one! The next sutra talks about choosing one thing to focus on and riding the wave. Thanks for the wise words!

  10. Commitment = focus + action. Seems like such a simple concept. So very difficult to practice. I am committed to following you on your sutra journey and I’m excited to incorporate each of them into my practice.

  11. I really loved the meaning of the first sutra…………..I think LIFE itself IS that !!!
    After 44 years of marriage, 7 children and 7 grandchildren, I do have an idea and some experience……………….not easy…………but worth every single smile and tear !!!
    THANK YOU Lulita !!!

    • Talk about commitment with 44 years of marriage plus 7 kids and their kids! Like you’ve said in the past “You need to water the plant every single day” – it does take an immense amount of commitment 🙂 Love you!

  12. So, on reading this first sutra, I had to laugh the first time I started to read it because I was, in fact, reading it, watching tv, AND replying to texts on the phone and then I came across the part that said, “Are you reading this blog, watching TV, talking on skype and texting all at the same time?” I thought, “oops”. 😉 So, my second time around, I had everything quiet and was able to focus more on what this sutra was saying.

    The part that stood out most to me and that I relate with the most is that “’atha’ is a commitment to facing the discomfort…” A couple weeks ago, I was asked to do something (by someone who shall remain nameless :-)) that is completely uncomfortable to how I am used to dealing with certain situations. I think it is so true that you need the guidance to face these discomforts and to grow by them.

    • Daniel, thanks for the image of the multi-tasking 🙂 Yes, we all do it in our own different ways. The commitment to inner growth leads us on a beautiful path with flowers and blue skies, but often with some chilly and dark nights 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  13. I knew going into my journey with yoga that it would take time, energy, and commitment. Commitment can be very challenging in my daily life; commitment to eating healthy, commitment to making time for loved ones, and commitment to make time for myself. I know that I should do a better job at keeping my commitments to myself and others. Yoga teaches us that commitment is about change that needs to come from within. Changing my habit ( Samskaras) may be helpful in reaching a short term goal in my yoga practice ; such as becoming aware of proper alignment. I have recently have been made aware that when I stand my right foot slightly protrudes out to the right which causes my feet to not be parallel. I have made a commitment to myself to become more aware of that and in return will have better form and possibly save my hips from pain in the future. My Commitment to my study of yoga is hard with a full time job. I have had to make time out of my day to study a chapter before bed and get up 30 mins earlier than I normally would to work on my personal yoga practice. This take commitment and it can be challenging with the fast pace life I live. I have made a commitment to myself to study yoga every night whether it is reading a chapter or two, or making sure I do my yoga practice.

    • I like how you relate to commitment to many different parts of your life: from your foot to your personal practice. Patanjali later reminds us to choose “eka”, or one thing at a time so that we can fully commit. Your commitment to yoga has been spectacular!

  14. I fear that I have always hovered in the realm of ideas, rarely passing over to their implementation through action. It is important to stay mindful and dedicated to the task at hand, otherwise my mind gets ahead of itself and tries to conquer or sequester ten different thought patterns at once.

    I am committed to empowering others to be themselves and to share who they really are with others in compassionate and passionate exchanges. I am committed to investigating the mind, regardless of how complex as a task as that has proven itself to be over the years. I am committed to learning from my experiences, accepting my mistakes, and slowly clearing my mind to engage more and more mindfully in each new moment.

    • Hi Lynda, your passion towards learning about the mind is wonderful, you have shown it throughout the past few months. Remember that yoga is an experiential process so the more specific we can be about our commitments, the more likely it is we will be successful in committing. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. Its too bad I’m responding to this conversation so late bc I relate to it so strongly. I think the timing is perfect however bc this is an area of my life iof weakness that I have been facing. I am the classic overacheiver and overcommiter. I follow through on the things I can…but often cant follow through on everything I want to…at least not in the timing planned. This results in chronic lateness and disappointing others. I never really saw the impact until recently and I’m being called to change. Life and its timing is so beautiful now that I have started this yoga journey ready to commit connect and act! On this I will follow through 🙂

    • Hi Jess, I definitely see the change in the past few months. You have committed to some things and have taken action to change! I see your commitment as an aspiring yoga teacher and it’s touching! About the overachieving, recognize when life is giving you more time to do things even if you would have liked to do them faster…often it is a blessing…

  16. hola lulu!!
    recien hoy ingreso a tus sutras! no usaba mucho FB… Martin me comentó y hoy tuve el momento. buenisimo! te felicito! estoy haciendo bastante yoga este año. 3 veces/week, Iyengar, estoy facinada! y muy comprometida. pero estos sutras me van a enseñar mas de esta filosofia, para vivir mejor y ser mejor persona! beso grande. ya me pongo al dia y los alcanzo….. Vali

    • Vali! Que divino leer esto (sorry pero me tomo un poco de tiempo en contestar ;). Que lindo saber que estas chocha con tu yoga! La idea es transmitir la filosofia porque muchas veces se pierde en las clases de hoy. Beso super grande!

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  20. With new responsibilities at my job, a relationship milestone, studying yoga, practicing yoga, etc.- and not being great a separating all of them- one would say I’m on commitment overload – and on the verge of burnout – which I will totally concur.. However, after reading this sutra it allowed me to realize that I can commit to each of these but only one at a time. Yes, somethings will overlap here and there, but if I commit and focus to one thing at a time and not let them all ball into one. I need to commit to connecting with my job responsibilities from 9-5 each day, then once I leave the office – I leave that commitment until the next day. Then make the commitment to myself that I will practice yoga at night either before going home to my lovely boyfriend. And since he loves yoga too, it can be a wonderful combination! I see this sutra as helping me really see that I can do it all, but I just need to be able to focus on one thing at a time!

  21. It’s like baking one single cake in 3 hours or cooking-multitasking for the entire week in 3 hours: delicious the former, burned fingers (or food) for the latter!
    It also calls for a severe slow down of our peace. Or does it come naturally with practice? Does it eventually become a habit?
    This is the difficult part for me.

  22. This sutra sends a very basic message but yet so profound! Growing up in a time of so much change and in a world where “faster is better” and multi-tasking is often times the only way to stay afloat, I feel as though I am very out of touch with the intentions set forth by this sutra. I often times commit to something, and find myself unable to follow through, or in a place where I am very hesitant to commit to anything because I fear I will be unable to follow through. This is one of my worst habits and something I feel I’ve been trying to work on since beginning my yoga journey. It is a slow process, with a few setbacks and obstacles, but I do have it in my mind at all times. What can I do to wholeheartedly commit to this moment or this promise I have made? I ask myself. The answers vary from turning off my phone, to planning ahead. I am hoping that with constant practice, always bearing this sutra in mind, that commitment, action, and connection, will become second nature to me.

    • Hi Tina, yes, we do live in a time where we are pushed to believe that more is better. In yoga, more commitment to one thing is better. How about committing to one thing every month?

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  24. I have kept my responses private for the past 4 months but I figured I would share them in case my experience resonates with anyone else…

    The first sutra is about commitment and focus. Similar to many growing up in this time, multi-tasking has been the norm since adolescence. Many times I find myself trying to clean the house, make dinner, edit photos, respond to texts, post on Facebook, all while talking to my roommates. As a teen I was “diagnosed” with attention deficit disorder and thought that was the reason for my scatterbrain-ness, it very well could have something to do with it, but commitment and focus – DISCIPLINE – are the at the root of the issue. After a difficult struggle with finally getting off of my prescribed ADD medicines that I had been taking for nearly 8 years, I have had to re-teach myself a lot of things I should have acquired in high school. So today, my commitment is to my mental and physical health, one day at a time, without the assistance of a stimulant. At first, when I was trying to get off the pills, in addition to a heavy alcohol habit, it was so challenging to even get out of bed because I felt so lethargic and depressed without them. Today, I’ve worked up to being able to not only rise at a decent hour, but get up, drink tea rather than coffee, do my asana practice, and ride my bike to work. This may sound ridiculous to others that this once was a far-fetched goal, but to me this is progress, this is focus and discipline. Of course my asana practice and my commitment to becoming a teacher are part of the overall health commitment I have made to myself, but being pill free and finding control on my own has been an extremely difficult process that is finally producing results. ☺

    • Hi Christine, thank you so much for sharing your comment! I love how you say you need to “re-teach” yourself. Yes, in a nutshell that is what yoga is about – creating new samskaras and letting go of old, less beneficial ones. And yes, it is step-by-step and one day at a time 🙂

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  26. Technology is wonderful in that it allows us to share information and ideas in forums like this, but I think that it can also dilute our experiences with each other and in life when misused. As I sit here on my multitasking machine, I was struck by how simple it is to close the 12 applications and 8 other browser tabs I had open (after reading the beginning of the second paragraph, of course!). I admittedly have a problem with focusing on one thing at a time, and I really enjoyed this post because it was an immediate, tangible call to action – I closed everything and was able to focus on the message. I am trying to be more focused on what’s happening at any given moment, whether it’s listening to a friend, watching a concert, or working on writing a response to a blog post. It has been a struggle for me, as habits are hard to break, but I’m being patient with myself and am committed to learning how to consistently focus and live in the moment.

  27. This sutra emphasizes the importance of not only commitment, but also to the action that follows. For me, I find it easier to become committed to something but more difficult to perform the action. Or sometimes when I do take action, things do not turn out exactly how I would like and I become easily discouraged and doubt my commitment in the first place. It is a maladaptive cycle that is difficult to break free from, but I feel as though I have been this way my whole life. I wonder what it would take to gain more self-confidence in this area.

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  30. Thank you so much for this sutra lesson Lucia! As I started reading it, I had the TV on and noticed that it totally called me out for doing so in the first paragraph! Like a child being scolded, I turned off the TV and committed myself to reading the sutra. It’s so easy for us to forget about focus and commitment when there are so many things going on in our world. I am typically multitasking throughout my day, but this sutra emphasizes the importance of committing yourself to 1 thing and following through with it. What an importance lesson to be reinforced. Another important lesson in this sutra is the action part. I just read in a book about starting a business that execution and follow through is the one thing most entrepreneurs lack. The book states that it is more important for someone to have a mediocre idea with excellent execution than someone with a brilliant idea and sub-par execution. Again, it’s going back to committing yourself and acting on it.

  31. It is very hard for me to fully commit one action at one single point in time. Perhaps it’s because I have taken many steps to constantly change my environments- living in new places, meeting new people, etc. I always highly regarded the life of a gypsy, living in a transient state and my only constant was change. It sounds but it actually has token a toll on curtains aspects of my life. Jumping from lillypad to lillypad can be fun but it also never leaves enough room to create a firm foundering. A place I can call home. I guess actions can be called home, in this regard my most sincere an longest commitment to date would be my vegetarianism. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 9 years and this action transformed itself from a personal preference to a moral value. I’m fully committed to this, regardless of where I am or with who I am with. It doesn’t define me but it is a big part of who I am and who I’d like to be.
    Closely followed (only second because of the length of time) is my marriage and my commitment to making one amazing adventure.

  32. The principle of commitment has been particularly hard for me to adhere to. I have always deeply valued the idea of regarding life as extremely transient, a long journey that begs you to explore new horizons, new cities, new people. I have lived most of my adult life with one main constant: moving around. Rearranging living situations to encounter new people, new city squares, never staying too long in a single place. Jumping from lily pad to lily pad has had its benefits but it has also prevented me from building a firm foundation, one true place I can call home. I guess “home” doesn’t have to be defined by a specific location, it can be an action. With this in mind, I can say that my most sincere and longest commitment to date is my vegetarianism. I have been a vegetarian for 9 years and this actions has transformed itself from a personal choice to a moral value. It doesn’t define who I am but it is a big part of who I’d like to be. My second (and only second due to its length of time) commitment is my marriage. I am fully committed to making it one amazing adventure.

  33. When I studied abroad in New Zealand this past semester, I was participating in a challenging outdoor school. I found myself being naturally more cautious than I had anticipated. On the days I was assigned as leader, I preferred to wait until the weather calmed down before asking the group to kayak to our next camp. And when it came time to learn how to roll a kayak, I was discouraged by the discomfort of the very cold water and my clogged ears. One of my instructors came to me and told me, “Elsa, you seem to always want things in harmony, which is beautiful, but remember: life is like playing a guitar- you have to put stress on the strings to create a harmony.”

    Since that moment with my kayaking instructor, “atha,” the commitment to facing discomfort, has often been on my mind. I am reminded of it in big and small moments throughout each day. It is not by any means easy for me to be uncomfortable, but I am learning to find the comfort in discomfort; the comfort in knowing a greater harmony will follow.

  34. I really enjoy what this sutra reminds me about committment and action. When I began my first full time job, I was very unhappy with the monotony of my daily routine. It was a harsh transition going from having loads of free time as a student to having very little time for myself. I realized that I would need to alter my schedule to increase my happiness and carve out some solid “me” time. I started going to sleep earlier and waking up an hour earlier to make myself breakfast, read a book, and truly commit to morning time with myself. The change has helped me immensley.

  35. This sutra is an important reminder for me because when I overextend myself, I become so stressed and only end up doing things halfway or forget to do them at all! Yoga allows me to focus on myself for a little bit which carries over to my ability to commit to things in everyday life. Being present in the moment is something I am working on because I know it will positively influence my job performance, my relationships, and my happiness.

    • Paige, you touched on an important concept: when we focus on one thing at a time that thing has a better result. Whether it’s at work or a conversation with a friend, the result is more beneficial.

  36. This sutra is a great reminder… I know I could use it to remind me to commit-connect to the various new things I am currently doing right now to take things one at a time and I will need to keep it in my “back pocket” to remind me when I fall back on my several distractions. I think many of us try to multi task several things at once, but what I have learned from my personal experiences is that when you are trying to do many things at once you are not committed to one particular thing and therefore most of the commitments we are trying to do at once suffer as they don’t get 100% of your attention, like conversations, projects, work tasks, homework, etc. Many can probably also relate that sometimes we also feel like we are committed and connecting to a current thing we are doing, but I know I’ve caught myself thinking about the next thing I need to do. I try to stop myself and re-connect, because I know that most people will feel that disconnect when your mind drifts or if you are handling a certain task it will end up taking longer than it should.

    I am glad to be reading this sutra at this time, because I recently have been going through several changes and had a really busy life. I caught myself as they say “chasing my tail” because I had a lot to do and my mind was going so fast thinking of all the things I needed to get done that I was just going in circles stressing myself and nothing was getting done. So, I needed to stop myself, and pick one task commit to, and finish it before going to the next. It’s amazing how the rest of the things start falling into place.

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  38. I’m happy to hear you’re implementing this and seeing positive results. A reminder card or bracelet to take around with you is an idea…something to look at whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed.

  39. To be perfectly frank this is a skill I have been yearning to obtain. For a reason I do not feel comfortable sharing on the wide web. I have trouble holding attention to one single thing. Whether that may be writing and trying to clean or doing a task at work while trying to impress myself with how good I am at multitasking. I digress, one thing I can take from this is that even though I am texting as I write this. I feel a strong connection to the nature of this Sutra. It resonates with me and as a simple task for myself I will be trying(I can say do but let us face it mistakes are going to happen) to leave my attention for one thing at a time. Even if it is as simple as turning off my phone when I am around others. -Cheers

  40. When I read this sutra I feel a boost of confidence. It reminds me of the reason why I made yoga such a big part of my life – because it’s transformational. “We can read and intellectually understand many beautiful concepts, but if we are not acting on them, we are not doing Yoga. Yoga is transformational because it requires action – change requires action. How much information have you acquired and how much of that have you implemented?”, this quote from your post resonates with me because before yoga, life seemed to center around unfulfilling intellectual knowledge accumulation. It seemed to me that my religion and education were means with no end (I’m sorry if that is offensive). No matter how much I learned or how much I prayed there was always more to know and I did not know how to use any of it to truly better myself. When I found yoga and meditation I realized that there are tools that allow me to act and make real changes based on the concepts/teachings I had learned. Yoga gave me a way to practice virtue and improve my life, it has given me the the power to commit connect and act, and this sutra is a powerful reminder of what yoga is to me.

    • I’m so happy to hear that this sutra resonates with you. I connect to it too! And it is said that all of the sutras are summarized in this one. Practicing what we learn leads to transformation.

  41. When I read this sutra I feel a boost of confidence. It reminds me of the reason why I made yoga such a big part of my life – because it’s transformational. “We can read and intellectually understand many beautiful concepts, but if we are not acting on them, we are not doing Yoga. Yoga is transformational because it requires action – change requires action. How much information have you acquired and how much of that have you implemented?”, this quote from your post resonates with me because before yoga, life seemed to center around unfulfilling intellectual knowledge accumulation. It seemed to me that my religion and education were means with no end (I’m sorry if that is offensive). No matter how much I learned or how much I prayed there was always more to know and I did not know how to use any of it to truly better myself. When I found yoga and meditation I realized that there are tools that allow me to act and make real changes based on the concepts/teachings I had learned. Yoga gave me a way to practice virtue and improve my life, it has given me the the power to commit connect and act, and this sutra is a powerful reminder of what yoga is to me.

  42. I am new to the Sutras and am so ready and excited to start studying and learning more about their meaning, myself, and how I can apply them to my daily life. In regards to this Sutra, I struggle constantly with commitment. On a day-to-day basis, I tend to over-commit and over schedule myself. This leads to me not being able to follow through with all of the plans I make, feeling constantly rushed with no time to recharge, and disappointing myself and others, which is something I never intend to do. I think it’s hard to realize that even with the best of intentions, if you aren’t following through and committing to what it is that you want to change, you will never get past the mental aspect of change, and actually implementing that change. Change requires action. My first step to making this a reality in my life, it to stop over committing myself. I want to be more in the moment, and more focused on the task at hand, or the conversation taking place. Instead of constantly going through the motions so that I can get to the next task.

    • Over committing is something many of us do. We have the idea that being ‘busy’ is better. We also fear missing out on other things if we just choose one, or we simply have a hard time saying ‘no’ for fear of not being liked by others. Sticking to one thing at a time definitely helps us enjoy our time more, it improves the quality of the activity that we have chosen to commit to 🙂

  43. I am watching TV, doing laundry and reading the Sutras as I type this. I guess I have been conditioned to think that multitasking is something that is so normal. I tend to preach to my friends and family that something is always bound to suffer when we try to multitask. Shouldn’t that sentence alone be enough to make us what to change habits that do not allow us to give our all? Of course! This is a sutra that I must learn to practice as much as I preach. As I continue my journey through Yoga Teacher Training, I hope that practicing and teaching will form new habits in my everyday life. I want to be more present to the people and things that mean so much to me. It is and will be a constant work in progress but with time I hope to be better tomorrow than I am today.

  44. A few months ago before starting teacher training, It was a habit to do a million things at once all the time. Multitasking has become part of everyones life that it is just second nature and we do dot realize we are doing it. I think back to studying in college. I would be having coffee with a friend, listening to music, texting my boyfriend and studying all at the same time. After reading this sutra and talking about it during TT I have become very aware and to my best ability, just tried to start committing. Even the smallest things, like watching T.V. with my mom. I’ve found putting down my technology and just being present is so positive and rewarding. My efforts to commit have gotten easier. Being more present to friends, family even my dog is something I want to/ have been incorporating into my life and I can honestly say I am loving the change! I have even started to get annoyed when others aren’t being present around me and have asked people to just leave their phones alone and just enjoy it.

    • Christine, I love the example of watching TV with your Mom because it happens so often. When we begin to make the switch, we notice the shift in the quality of time spent with others. And I have also asked others to leave their cellphones while we’re having a conversation and most people actually appreciate the request.

  45. This Sutra really puts things into perspective for me. I am guilty because I do mulit-task, but I am not very good at it. I can’t physically to too many things at once. For example, I can’t pick a song on my ipod while i’m driving unless i’m at a stop light. I can’t walk and drink water at the same time, and I can’t be cooking too many things at once because something will burn. All silly things that most people can do, for some reason I am set up for failure if I try to do too many things at once. My main issue is that my mind is constantly wandering. I will be in the middle of a conversation with someone and completely change the subject about 90% of the time. If I am trying to concentrate on one thing at once my mind is somewhere else. I love this sutra because it totally makes sense! I really need to work on focusing my thoughts on what I am doing at this very moment, instead of thinking about how badly I have to pee!!

    • Mary, society praises multi-tasking. And it is necessary in some cases. But most of the time, doing one thing at a time will ensure a delicious rightly cooked meal, good music and safe driving 🙂

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