Sutra I.14 – Chapter I, Sutra 14

स तु दीर्घकालनैरन्तर्यसत्कारासेवितो दृढभूमिः॥१४॥

sa tu dirgha-kala-nairantarya-satkara-adara-asevitah-drdha-bhumih

PRACTICAL LIVING     In addition to that (sa tu), this practice is firmly rooted (drdha-bhumih) when it is thoroughly (asevitah) nourished by long-term commitment (dirgha-kala), perseverance (nairantarya), positive actions and devotion (satkara), and intense enthusiasm (adara).

Practice (refer to Sutra I.12 and I.13) becomes strong and unshakeable (drdha bhumih) when it is constantly nourished (asevita) by these four important qualities:

  1. length, duration, endurance (dirgha-kala)
  2. continuity, perseverance, non-interruption (nairantarya)
  3. actions that are positive, fair and honorable (sat-kara), or a devout attitude
  4. confidence, zeal and enthusiasm (adara)

Length and endurance (dirgha-kala) remind us that this is not just about doing our asana/pranayama/meditation practice at home or at a yoga studio. Practice (abhyasa) is about practicing awareness throughout the day. Frequently, especially in this “immediate-results” society, we try a practice or class for a few days and because we have not seen ‘magical’ results like weight loss, toned buttocks, loss of pain or problems resolved in 3 days, we assume it is the wrong practice and we look for something else. Patanjali is telling us to practice patience and perseverance (nairantarya): whatever takes us to a more peaceful, calmer and self-aware place needs to be done for the rest of our lives, without interruptions. Looking back at 2012, I see how I was practicing the art of “immediacy” when I bought tap dancing shoes and took 6 classes before I got distracted with knitting classes and the shoes ended up on the bottom of the shoe rack.

The next idea of this sutra emphasizes the concept of devotion and enthusiasm. Whatever we decide to do (jobs, having children, coffee with a friend, reading a book, writing about a sutra, going on vacation…) requires a positive and engaged attitude. This enthusiastic energy will help us commit (refer to Sutra I.1) to whatever we decide to do so that we can maintain the practice for a long period of time and experience the state of Yoga (refer to Sutra I.2). In positive psychology (a fairly modern branch of psychology), research shows that we reach a state of “flow” (otherwise known as complete absorption or samadhi in yoga) after engaging in one activity for, on average, 10 years with vigor and devotion.

Can we begin to add more devotion by dedicating fully to our lives and to every activity we choose to do? Pick one activity or relationship and begin your practice (abhyasa) with enthusiasm and perseverance!

IN THE YOGA WORLD     In India, it is common to tell stories to get specific points across. There is one Hindu story about the great Maharishi Narada that clarifies this sutra. Narada would travel from Heaven to earth to see how humans were doing. During one trip he encountered 2 students:

  1. The first one had been meditating for so long that an ant hill was built around him. The student saw Narada and asked him to find out how many more births would he still need to meditate for. He told Narada he’d been sitting for a long time and begged Narada to find out.
  2. The second student was jumping, dancing and singing with joy and when he saw Narada he asked him to find out how many more births would he still need to dance and sing for.

Several years later Narada walked by the same spot and the responses were:

  1. The first student was told that “You have to take 4 more births”. “Four births????!!!!! Haven’t I waited long enough????” exclaimed the student. The student began to shout and lament.
  2. The second student was asked by Narada to count the leaves on the tree and the student replied he could. Narada told him he had time to count them since Lord Siva said it would take as many births as the number of leaves. The student responded “Is that all? So at least there’s a limited number. Now I know where it ends. Thank God he didn’t say the leaves of the entire forest”.

Shortly, the second student received a message that Siva was asking him to go to Heaven since he showed he was willing and patient enough to live all of those births showing enthusiasm.

The point of the story is that if you are patient, your mind is more settled and what you do will be more ready. If you are unsettled and anxious to get the result, you are already disturbed; nothing done with that disturbed mind will have quality. So, it is not only how long you practice, but with what patience, what earnestness and what quality also. In life, we will most likely feel anger, greed, pride, lust and envy. This is part of the journey and that is why we need to be persistent in our practices. We will probably come up with excuses not to practice (as I write this, my family and friends are sunbathing and playing in the swimming pool and I have succumbed to this and other excuses not to sit down and write this sutra), this is normal. But reminding ourselves (with kindness) to maintain our practices with enthusiasm, devotion and persistence will keep moving us towards a steadier state of mind 🙂


Sutra I.14-Ine

Agzi is a magnificent sister, friend, mother, wife, yoga student and yoga teacher! As a sister, with the numerous siblings she has, her thoughtfulness and generosity has been immense. As a friend, she is delightfully fun to be with. As a mother, her devotion towards her daughter is awing: this little being is so lucky to have her as a mother! As a wife, her long-term commitment and strength is firm and ongoing. As a yoga student and yoga teacher, Agzi has been so dedicated, enthusiastic and committed. Every student who crosses her path is receiving a jewel as a teacher! Agz, thank you for playing so many incredible roles in my life. I love sharing my life through the lense of yoga with you! You are a constant reminder of how I want to live my life! Love you sooooo much!

Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!

Thanks and we will look at the other side of the coin: detachment (vairagyam)!

51 thoughts on “Sutra I.14 – Chapter I, Sutra 14

  1. This sutra reminds me of the second limb of Ashtanga yoga…niyama… Gratitude and growth. One that is playing a significant role in my practice right now. Each day I am dedicating time to practice yoga both on the mat and at work. I am practicing gratitude while looking into growth and next steps for my yoga career. I am so excited and ready to dedicate my energy to this passion. I find myself easily anxious by this excitement wanting immediate results. This is why I am focusing my awareness on each day to remain grateful and open to the opportunities ahead. Timing can’t be rushed and I must practice patience, gratitude, and letting go. It is a daily devotion which is already leading to freedom from anxiety-an incredible gift.

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  3. I can relate to the whole having patience thing when I first started to practice yoga. I’ve always been a pretty impatient person, but fortunately, I was patient this time. The reason I started to practice yoga was because of all the wear and tear that my knees were put through from volleyball and running. So, I was in the mind set, “ok, maybe everything will be better in a few weeks”. Of course my knees weren’t all better in such a short time span, but I was hell bent on sticking to it until I could feel at least some difference. Finally after 3 months, I felt a slight difference and thought, “wow, I can actually play volleyball without pain”. At this point I think having that feeling made me want more and more yoga because if it could make my knees all better it must be good stuff. I’m fortunate to have had this type of experience with yoga because now I’m 3.5 years into it and still loving every bit of it. Now, I just need to work on this sort of thing off the mat and perhaps at my work. 🙂

  4. The saying ” Patience Is A Virtue” is something that I repeat a lot when I am feeling rushed or I want something to be done immediately. One of my many samskara is having the mind set of ” go, go , go”. Living in the US, we are a very fast paced country and have no patience for anything. We expect everything NOW! Since going on my yoga journey, I have noticed how impatient I am and have tried to work on being more patient. I have started to become more patient with myself and my mind on what I expect of myself and others. Recently while traveling, my flight got delayed and my old self would have been so annoyed and angry because I have to wait another 3 hours for my flight, but at that moment I didnt get upset. I accepted the situation and decided that instead of being impatient and getting mad at something that was out of my control, I would let it go and find a way to entertain myself for three hours. I can already see myself changing in small ways!

  5. Daniel, my favorite phrase of your comment is: “Now, I just need to work on this sort of thing off the mat and perhaps at my work.” Hahaha. It made me smile 🙂 We start wherever our enthusiasm brings us and eventually our interest goes from the body inward, which shows in your commitment in the teacher training and on reading the sutras.

  6. Pingback: Sutra I.21 – Chapter I, Sutra 21 | weeklysutra

  7. When I read about the four qualities we must nourish our practice with, I couldn’t help but think of my job as a camp counselor. For three months, I commit to creating the most amazing experience possible each for the campers. This is not as easy as it sounds and takes a lot hard work, attentiveness, and genuine compassion for my coworkers and campers. Towards the end of the summer the practice of kindness, honesty, and creativity can become slowed by exhaustion and thoughts of home. However, despite this, I am driven to be at camp for the long-haul, as long as it takes to make a difference in others’ lives (dirgha kala), at a steady and dedicated pace, regardless of what obstacles I may face, such as exhaustion, homesickness, stress (nairantarya). All the while, taking positive actions to make sure I am taking care of myself and also creating a wonderful growing experience for the campers such as getting enough sleep at night, and coming up with creative activities for the kids to do (sat-kara), and I do these things with complete happiness because I know that I am privileged to give back to a community that has given so much to me throughout my lifetime. So no matter how hard the job gets, I am always thrilled and blessed to keep going (adara)!

  8. Since starting teacher training, Ive noticed my ‘quick to react’ side is becoming less and less. Obviously Im not perfect 🙂 but its bringing that awareness into our everyday lives that makes a difference.

  9. Pingback: Sutra I.32 – Chapter I, Sutra 32 | weeklysutra

  10. The story about Narada in relation to this sutra makes me think of expectations. It is important to be genuinely enthusiastic about our practices (abhyasa) so that we may not be attached to their results, as Krishna teaches Arjuna in the Gita. For example, if I were to expect myself to be able to hold a forearm stand in the middle of the room after 1 month of doing yoga, it might not be impossible, but instead of being grateful for the practice itself I’d be concerned with and and likely frustrated by its results, like the first student in the Narada story.

  11. I like this because feel like this sutra’s concepts can be applied to just about any aspect of life: yoga practice, work, relationships (parenting, significant other). In order to be successful or improve oneself, all of these qualities are crucial. This statement: “Reminding ourselves (with kindness) to maintain our practices with enthusiasm, devotion and persistence will keep moving us towards a steadier state of mind” really resonated with me and I will keep this in mind during this busy holiday and work season!

  12. This sutra reminds of the story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race kind of thinking. Recently, I’ve found myself almost frantically looking for ways to be more involved in the Chicago yoga community since completing module 110 – which is awesome because that shows my enthusiasm for my yoga practice but almost at a pace where I think how much longer can I keep this up (very hare like). However, I’m aware that this kind of enthusiasm could lead to a quick burnout and a halt in my yoga practice which is not want I want. So, I’ve taken a step back (become more tortoise like) and telling myself continue with the excitement for your practice but slow’er down – everything will happen when it happens. Practice my kriya yoga and I’ll be able to continue doing all these things within the yoga community for a much longer time to come 🙂

  13. Pingback: Sutra I.42 – Chapter I, Sutra 42 | weeklysutra

  14. I really love the Maharishi Narada story. It reminds me of the work environment in my office. There are other people there that show up for the day and are already muttering and grumbling about how busy they are, thinking about when they get to leave, and having impatient negative attitudes about their work. I do not love my job by any means, and i certainly look forward to 5 PM when I can go have fun being with friends, or take a yoga class. However, I try to make the best out of my situation by looking forward to experiences with the people I work with, I enjoy their company. I don’t count down the hours until the end of the day I try to remain patient, in the present moment. Knowing that someday I will be at a job that I truly love, I just need to do the work to get there. I am not perfect, of course, I have days when I really dread going in or feel overwhelmed by my workload and upset. But it truly is an effort to keep a positive attitude and I think ultimately this effort makes me a happier person.

  15. I think the second quality of nourishing our practice is a really great reminder and relates to things going on in my yoga practice and life today. I find this quote especially inspiring “Patanjali is telling us to practice patience and perseverance: whatever takes us to a more peaceful, calmer and self-aware place needs to be done for the rest of our lives, without interruptions”, yoga is the thing that takes me towards self-awareness and peace therefore I should practice it on and off the mat. Of the qualities listed which strengthen our practice, the second quality, which focuses on the concept of “devotion and enthusiasm”, really hit a cord. In reflecting on the things that have been on my mind recently (projects for work, deciding on what school to attend in the fall, taking out student loans, etc.) I realize that I have a cloud of avidya (suffering) around all of them which means that I must have lots of misperceptions about those things, and this sutra reminds me to apply what I have learned through yoga in all aspects of my life. This passage says “Whatever we decide to do requires a positive and engaged attitude”, since I have decided I want to be good at my job and I want to go to school, instead of building anxiety and focusing on the stressful aspects I should reevaluate my devotion to education and reconnect with my enthusiasm for bettering myself.

  16. In the past few years, I have tended to be a “jack of all trades.” I was easily distracted and not really committed to one activity. Signing up for teacher training was a big deal for me. I have not experienced giving that level of dedication and time to one thing since my dancing career. Now having almost completed the training, I am still just as enthusiastic about my yoga practice, if not more. I am truly working to continue to make time and keep up my devotion towards yoga while not overextending myself. I hope practicing the experience of a slower, more sustainable, journey will rub off onto other areas of my life.

  17. Narada, how I wish I had your patience. How many more lives am I bound in this cosmic wheel of lament? I’m not sure, probably eons more and at times this does upset me but then i think of how cool would it be to somehow be not just a world traveler, but a traveler of time. Bound to many lifetimes, experiencing the world of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Without getting deeper into the rabbit hole, I can also apply this sutra and the patience of Narada to every day life, specifically my personal yoga practice. I have been trying to nail down arm balances, with some I have tasted the sweet delights of success and with some I have ended with some unpleasant bruises. Whenever I see myself speeding through a process that takes time I can see my body shaky, my confidence low and it all leads to a failed flying pigeon. There are days I feel light as a feather and I hold no expectations of my practice, those days I tend to almost practically fly and happiness fills me not because I was able to hold an arm balance or inversion but because it feels good to let it go.

    Devotion, enthusiasm, diligence (continuity) and positive thoughts have changed my practice from a physically-bound practice to a spiritual experience and I try to take each step with intention and reverence. Now it’s time to use these 4 qualities in every thing I do to make the world better, to make my life better.

  18. Ok, so I know I keep referring to books in my sutra comments, but this sutra makes me think of the “Stockdale Paradox”, which is described in the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. The Stockdale Paradox is named after admiral Jim Stockdale, who was a United States military officer held captive for eight years during the Vietnam War. Stockdale was tortured more than twenty times by his captors, and never had much reason to believe he would survive the prison camp and someday get to see his wife again. And yet, as Stockdale told Collins, he never lost faith during his ordeal: “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

    Then comes the paradox: While Stockdale had remarkable faith in the unknowable, he noted that it was always the most optimistic of his prisonmates who failed to make it out of there alive. “They were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

    Stockdale’s mind was steady, he was positive, and he had hope that he would eventually prevail. The other prisoners were unsettled and anxious, wanting to be out of the prison by “XX” date. They were so focused on an end date, that all of their quality of mind was going towards that and nothing else. Stockdale was able to turn this horrific experience to the defining moment of his life. Isn’t that something we should all strive to do?! Turn our hardships into inspirational stories?! Well now I am inspired!

  19. Devotion and enthusiasm act as a reminder for me, a switch from “I have to do this” to “I love this”!. However, with some many things going on simultaneously in my life it is very hard to cherry pick the activity I want to focus my energies on or the practice to sustain. Sure, starting with one thing at the time is a strategy, but ultimately I still want to put awareness and energy on other aspects, it is unreasonable that, say, I focus on my marriage and don’t focus at the same time to friendship. The job I love constantly requires practice. And although I can focus on only one of these at each given time, I still feel I am dispersing energy.

    • Laura, this sutra is basically talking about a change in attitude, just like you mentioned. Picking one or two things to focus on is just a method to start somewhere. Ultimately, we want to live our lives with devotion – from sitting on the toilet, to sipping tea and driving to work. The devotion and enthusiasm is something we choose every minute of our day. Sometimes it’s easy because the emotion supports that. It is when we are cranky that the practice really has to kick in. It’s a process…

  20. One of the hardest things for me is that I have a difficult time giving dedication towards something (a task, a process), if the path is not clear or the outcome is not readily apparent or measurable. What does it mean to be a healthy person? What does it mean to live a creative life? It’s easy to find examples out in the world of what you *think* the outcome of something should be, but often times the image is one-dimensional or flat, and I find myself looking for a true example of how a life is lived – I need to be shown how something can be done to know what to do…

    but part of the whole process is that our own particular paths are not clear and no one can tell me “how” to do something – it’s besides the point! I must choose, focus, do, rinse, repeat. The only way out is through, yeah?

  21. I have a friend, G, who made a list of five things he wanted to learn several years ago. He had a lot of interests, but after careful reflection, he narrowed the list down to just those five things. At the top of his list were harmonica, glass blowing, and tap dance. Ever since, he has stuck with these interests and even relocated to Chicago to study with an acclaimed harmonica musician. I met him at a tap dance class where he was exploring that interest. He was also intensely focused on establishing a retail business selling glass art, tools, and equipment. I asked him where girls or dating fit in and he said it wasn’t on the list, so he wasn’t focused on it. I also asked him what he would be doing if he was a millionaire, and he said pursuing the five interests on his list. I admire G’s perseverance and dedication. He would not let himself get distracted from the goals he set for himself. He was also well aware that it might take years to develop competence in his areas of interest, but was still enthusiastic about pursuing them. He rearranged his life to facilitate what he wanted to do. G’s decisions came with a price, as he has often struggled financially and sometimes not had a place to live or much to eat. Despite this, he is committed to living life on his terms. Not many of us are brave enough to trade our comfort and security in order to do that. Although G and I have since gone our separate ways, I still think of him often and the lessons I have learned from him.

  22. There is an individual I work with that inspires me to have more patience, to persevere through tough times, and to devote time to the things I love. I feel I couldn’t have met him at a more perfect moment in my life. His enthusiasm for life it something to emulate.

  23. I am the type of person who will see things through… Despite conflicts, I am usually the kind of guy to finish a project. I can observe, however, is a change in attitude. Sometimes towards the end of a show/project/activity, I feel the fatigue and crave rest like none other. Being now aware of this behavior, I try to take a couple breaths and practice bringing that initial enthusiasm back to the surface. While not completely experience, I believe that a consistent, enthusiastic energy will increase the emotional payoff (or satisfaction) from completion of a goal.

  24. I like this sutra a lot. It reminds me of how I was so eager to understand everything right away during my TT and found it only brought me stress and avidya. I take a while to understand somethings and couldn’t rush into these amazing teachings. I am still practicing patience in all learnings and it only makes sense to.

  25. I think I am someone who often loses my enthusiasm for things quickly. I wanted to play the harmonica, so I bought one and lost interest after a few weeks and no longer practice. I wanted to become a Zumba teacher so I looked up how to become one and then I lost interest in wanting to become an instructor. I find that I have a lot of interests and dive in very deeply and quickly to many things but I cannot sustain my attention to them for very long. I have been this way since I was a child.

    I have started to work on this in my current adult life. I have started telling myself that if it was important enough for me to buy a harmonica then it is important enough for me to practice and really learn how to play it. I would not consider myself someone who quits things often but rather someone who floats around. I am very thankful for my parents pushing me to practice the piano. I HATED practicing when I was kid. Then after about three years I stated to become good and I enjoyed making music. I would play the piano for hours…I was in the zone. I wish I had more times in my life when I was “in the zone” but maybe through practice and gained awareness, I will. ☺

  26. This sutra is very relevant to me in answering the questions why i come to yoga and why i want to be a teacher trainer. We always do things with a purpose or an intention. So why yoga? I had back pain back in grad school (yes, i was young and back pain sucks) and started going to yoga. So the intention was to help myself alleviating my back pain at that moment. It indeed helped a lot, i no longer have back pain, cobra pose is the key to overcome it, which i still practice everyday now. So, yoga is about me; i want to help myself, to cure myself and love myself; it’s me and my body, if i dont love it, who else will? I wouldnt say i could devote an hour or two hours long for self practice everyday but i did actually spend 15 mins a day doing cobra and other fun poses. I now spend 30 mins or more practicing, so the duration increases there; and i am shooting for 45 mins in the near future.

    Why become a teacher trainer? As much as i love to help others and find an alternative means of making a living, i understand now that it’s about helping and understanding myself at a much deeper level. If i see myself clearly (clearing that cloud inside), and accept me for who i truly am, i am doing myself a huge favor of having a clear perception and a steady mind that leads to self happiness; it is within and i dont have to look very far. Once i get that, hopefully, i could inspire and help others to find themselves and their happiness ( and it may be a nice abs, a nice yoga booty for now, if that helps 🙂 ).

    Remember the song “happy” on the radio, why would you “clap along if you feel like a room without a roof “, it’s because if i am happy inside, who cares what the surrounding is. For now, it’s in me, it’s about me, i want to help myself and i love myself some good yoga; and you should too.

  27. This hit a core spot with me. I am always trying to understand the sutras and the wording. I need to slow down and focus on each individual sutra. This is not just TT it’s a life training. All this will lead me to the peace I am striving for.

  28. This sutra brings me to a time when I was training for triathlons and half marathons. There was so much physical prep for these events and the anxiety and nervousness that I would feel on the morning of these events could have eaten me alive but I transferred that jittery feeling into endurance and positive self talk for myself and really tried to remind myself that no matter what, I showed up and I had fun! Anything beyond that (a great time or a pr) was just a bonus!

  29. I work with maintaining enthusiasm for the SAME thing for 10 years. That sometimes relies on commitment and the enthusiasm is the payoff afterwards, when I did something even if I didn’t want to.

  30. 1.length, duration, endurance (dirgha-kala)
    2.continuity, perseverance, non-interruption (nairantarya)
    3.actions that are positive, fair and honorable (sat-kara), or a devout attitude
    4.confidence, zeal and enthusiasm (adara)

    These four qualities are the key to mastery in any personal relationship, professional pursuit, or otherwise. Not only have I found that I have become better at my job by being mindful of these four attributes, but I’ve also since realized that these are the key points needed so personal relationships can mature. That’s the beautiful thing about yoga and learning about the sutras! You’re benefitting EVERY aspect of your life by being mindful and aware and doing your best to apply them to every situation on hand. Yoga does not discriminate.

    The first thing that came to mind after reading this entry was the relationship I have with my boyfriend. While reflecting on past relationships, I have come to realize that the reason why each of them failed is because they were missing one (or more) of the above. However, I feel a sense of longevity, understanding, and a deep connection with my current boyfriend because we both have been mindful of these things. I find that when people really want to make a relationship (or something else, for that matter) work, that it becomes successful when both individuals are naturally following these four steps. In my opinion, if you really love something, it doesn’t feel like work- it flows and rushes out of you like glowing lava.

  31. Yoga, with is “big Y” is life. I realize that any “thing” that I can give endurance, perseverance, positive attitude and enthusiasm to must be very important to me. If I live these words in my day, there is no room for negativity. So focusing on everything I do with the intention of the Sutra 1.14.

  32. How fitting this is to me to read at this time of year, the New Year’s Resolution time. They points that stick out about this sutra to me are that any practice must be started with a positive attitude and eagerness in order to succeed. It seems many of those who resolve to lose weight and start working out in the new year have a negative motivation. They are fed up with being out of shape. The gyms are packed in January, but come February the crowds die down. Maybe the extreme results they wanted in a month weren’t achieved, or feasable, so they gave up. If the motivation was to make positive changes and have more energy, sleep better, improve health an get off medications, maybe the follow through would be better. Also, the correct practice must be followed for a length of time in order to succeed, and many want those results right away. It’s been my personal experience that when true lifestyle changes are made, not quick fixes, that positive results will come.

  33. I’m getting close to thirty and I feel as if I just learned what commitment really means. I always used to think it was biting down and doing things even when you don’t want to. Standing strong in your obligations for the results. These things may be true to some extent, but I have found that real commitment sinks in when you realize you want to do it. You want to quit smoking, or you want to sit down and write, or read. Its nice to be committed to the things I do and to the people I love. It doesn’t have to be a struggle.

  34. I know I’m not a very patient person. I’m always anxiously awaiting something – next career move, next vacation, next everything. The funny thing is I’m very patient when it comes to waiting in lines, on hold on the phone, etc. When I’m at the doctor’s office, I know I’ll probably have to wait anyway, so I don’t mind waiting. I’m expecting it so I’m not disappointed. I’m not sure why I can be so patient with something like that, but when it comes to making changes in my life I’m always willing them to hurry up and be over. Like with Teacher Training, I’m so excited for what I’m going to learn, but I can’t wait until I’m done and I can start teaching. I always want to end result and never the journey, but the journey is always the fun part. I think Yoga Teacher Training will help me slow down and patiently commit to learning so I can commit 100% to teaching.

  35. Within the last week, I have become incredibly anxious about finishing school, finishing teacher training, and completing other tasks. Therefore, this Sutra is reminding me that the speed or immediacy with which these goals come is not important because the more important aspect is my growth, which certainly is not represented by a particular date on a calendar. I can certainly relate to first student in the story saying, “Ugh! I just want this all to be done!” But reading this story helps me to see the errors of my thinking and the suffering I am creating in the process. I need to accept with patience that, with time, I will achieve my goals. And, in the meantime, I must not suffer through it, but I should sing and dance like the second student.

  36. This is such a good reminder for me. Enthusiasm is not a problem and it is easy to narrow my interests to food/nutrition, yoga, swing dancing and comfy clothes. Within that narrow range though, there is always another thing to learn or experience and I have a hard time picking just one focus. To really give a continued effort to something and persevere. Time for me to take inventory on the things I’ve started, prioritize, and get them done one at a time…or maybe two. Oh well… it’s a journey, right?!

  37. And so I return to reading the Sutras, starting from the beginning. That is my commitment, because I know that reading them the first time I was in a different place. Maybe I will read them from start to finish every year for 10 years, because that is how long it will take to understand them. But, for now, my commitment and enthusiasm is for this year. I know that because I have completed the training, I will have a different perspective of the lessons. I find that this time I am happy to read them again, I feel it keeps me in touch with my practice and gives me a focus each day.

    • Dearest Barb, I like the idea of committing to something for an entire year. And yes, every year, and possibly every day I understand the messages from a different angle. I look forward to your comments in 10 years 😉

  38. Commitment to yoga teacher certification is the biggest commitment I have made in recent years. Now I need to commit to the practice of yoga (in all aspects)! I can so see “flow” in my teacher and several fellow classmates and it inspires me to know that it is possible to live a patient life. I am definitely an impatient being and am working toward (on?) slowing down, being more patient and looking at all that is in front of me with love, kindness and patience.

    • Dearest Heather, love, kindness and patience are both a practice and the results of the practice. We are all working on it. One of the challenges is to work on love, kindness and patience toward ourselves while we work on love, kindness and patience 😉

  39. I love this formula. duration + perseverance + positive loving actions + enthusiasm = A HAPPY MARRIAGE. Love, love, love this. I have been married for 24 years. Yea! But, at one time I was divorced from this same man. Yes, I married him twice! The first marriage we didn’t think long term, everything was now. We sucked at pushing through, working through things, trying to continue on. As a result our attitude and actions toward each other became negative. We lost our confidence in each other, in our selves. Neither one of us was happy…. We remarried. We talked about breaking the cycle or pattern of our past. Now we yoga through our marriage. People comment on our past and how far we have come. They notice our successes in marriage and they always ask how we did it. Now, I have a formula to share with them. Love it! (and I love him!)

    • Desikachar would say that we know yoga is working for us if our relationships are getting better. It sounds like yoga is really working for you 🙂 Thank you for sharing your sweet story!

  40. When I married Jim 32 years ago (tomorrow), I remember thinking about how I was making a commitment to this awesome man. What I never realized or thought about was how much endurance, perseverance, confidence in myself, devotion and love it would take to have a deep and healthy relationship.
    Jim is a highly driven, competitive, organized, routine oriented, positive loving man. I am a more laid back, less organized, deep thinking, faithful woman. In other words, when we take a hike together, Jim is all about the fastest and most challenging way to reach the end of the trail and for me it is all about meandering through nature and taking in the beauty along the trail! Learning to accept and understand our differences has been challenging, yet we always found a way to endure because of our love for one another. I believe we both are now starting to celebrate our commitment and differences and the joy we find in spending time together……it has been a long journey but one that has been worth every step!!!

  41. What should I say..I am really touched with your easy and beautiful description…I am reading books and searching Google for the easy explanation of maharishi patanjali’s sutra..and my search ended when I stop by this site..thank you so much for your help…

    • Dearest Meenu, thank you for your words. These teachings are so precious but so many don’t even know of their existence. So my hope through this blog is that the teachings are a little more approachable 🙂

  42. Pingback: Sūtra III.2 – Chapter III, Sūtra 2 | weeklysutra

  43. Patience is not something I am good with! But the yoga teacher training & my therapy sessions are definitely helping with that. And boy do I need it! A huge part of what attracted me to yoga was being able to pause & be in the moment. I never realized how little I did it before. It’s so addicting for me to be in that state of mind that I find myself doing mini breath practices throughout my days. And I am always reminding myself that things will happen when it’s time.

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