Sutra I.17 – Chapter I, Sutra 17

वितर्कविचारानन्दास्मितारूपानुगमात् संप्रज्ञातः॥१७॥

vitarka-vicara-ananda-asmita-rupa-anugamat-samprajnatah

Through the process of cultivating practice and detachment, one gradually transitions (anugamat) from a superficial (vitarka) understanding of the object* to a deeper comprehension (vicara), leading to a state of joy (ananda). Then the object is gradually understood in totality (samprajnatah) where the individual is so much in union with the object that he/she is oblivious to his/her surroundings.

*object = behavior, thought pattern, emotion, activity…

PRACTICAL LIVING     Yoga, at its most profound level, is transformational. On a practical level, this sutra presents the formula for change. It describes to us what to expect in the process of acquiring new behaviors and letting go of old ones. At the beginning of any new endeavor (riding a bike, knitting, a new asana, a new job…) we struggle (vitarka) since the skills required for that new activity need to be learned and developed. With continuous practice, it becomes easier (vicara) until some time later we actually enjoy it (ananda). At some point that becomes part of who we are (walking, talking, driving…things that once were clumsy and difficult are now second nature). Eventually, we master that and understand it with depth and all of its details (samprajnatah). According to Positive Psychology, it takes a person, on average, 10 years to reach this state of complete understanding where there is complete absorption – when one is fully taken by the experience – what positive psychology calls “flow”.

In other words, we have the potential to absorb new behaviors and they become who we are. According to my teacher, Robert Birnberg (see Sutra I.6) “authenticity is overrated”. In the stage of vitarka (of replacing one action with another) it does not feel authentic – it takes time to feel authentic therefore “fake it until you make it”. As I observe teacher trainees begin to teach yoga classes, I remind them of this stage of vitarka, it’s difficult, but with experience and commitment (see Sutra I.1) it becomes second nature.

How can you can apply the concepts of this sutra for self-care and changing behaviors to make yourself happier? It is important to choose a constructive new behavior (see Sutra I.2) and avoid the cycle of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results (what some refer to as insanity). I will start by reminding myself that moving to a new city is hard at first (vitarka), but that with time, it is joyful (ananda) and becomes part of who I am (asmita-rupa)!

IN THE YOGA WORLD     Another interpretation of this sutra is the journey of calming the mind, increasing self awareness and experiencing our true nature (see History). As we develop more self awareness, being able to observe and change our behaviors, thought patterns and reactions, transformation occurs at a gradual pace. This sutra reminds us that the journey of growth is like a dimmer switch, where the light brightens a little at a time, as long as we remain committed to the practice. It reminds us to accept where we are at, and understand that this will change as we dedicate ourselves to growth. Since it is a step-by-step process, we are reminded of patience as well. Sustainable change occurs gradually. Letting go to the attachment of fast change is important! “samprajnatah” in its deepest understanding is experiencing our inner light, our true Self, our fabulous inner joy and peace. And like Patanjali describes, this takes practice, time and plenty of detachment🙂.

INSPIRATIONAL PERSON    Sutra I.17-Vidhi

This woman has taught me a lot in just the 6 months that I have known her! She is my “study buddy” for a yoga therapy course I am taking in India. For 3 weeks we had to work together on assignments on a daily basis. And since June, we have tried to skype on a weekly basis. I admire how she has devoted herself to these teachings and has step-by-step become more and more knowledgeable, perhaps having left the vitarka stage. Her attitude towards her daughters is beautiful to observe. She seems to take her life one day at a time and has been implementing powerful changes to her life. Is everything peaceful and joyful? Of course not! But this woman has the energy to dance through life with immense dedication to make inspirational changes within her! Vidhi, thank you for the beautiful exchanges, the love, the friendship and the sense of humor throughout this crazy yet incredible journey!

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 how this experience of inner peace advances as well.

42 thoughts on “Sutra I.17 – Chapter I, Sutra 17

  1. Thank you Lucia for your support, incredible knowledge and practical experience and examples to help me through this journey of moving from vitarka towards the vicara. Still have loads of work to do but I know I will not be able to do without our Sanga.
    Thank you my dear friend.

    • It’s amazing how talking to other like-minded individuals is important in so many levels: emotionally (we feel loved); intellectually (we are able to discuss and learn from each other); and socially (we connect from people all over the world who are experiencing similar things to us…people we can relate to and somehow understand us). Thank you for everything!

  2. Oh, Lucia, I LOVE this sutra!! I find it so useful to understand ANY learning process we need to deal with in our lives. The process turns to be a “miracle” when we talk about ananda. How many times we struggle with “the technics” of any thing we are learning for first time and suddenly…. it comes part of our second nature. That is the most beautiful and sacred and misterious part of any learning process. I would say, of life in itself. I totally agree with your point in remarking “authenticity overrated”. In my view, our human journey presents us lots of challenges we need to learn to “unfold” (if not, we should not suffer at all). And that could take some effort (steps, technics, etc). And time. And willingness to learn. Only when we have learnt how to deal with all these tools, when they are part of our second nature, “flow” comes by itself. Until that moment… vitarka-vicara again and again….
    By the way, I also LOVE that beautiful lady that inspired your sutra today!!! Double joy to my morning!!🙂🙂

    • Yes, I agree Gabi that the process of vicar-vitarka is often repeating itself…it’s a continuous process since many time we understand something to a new level, but that new level takes us to feeling we know less…

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  4. I’ve heard the saying that yoga is a lifetime of practice. I will definitely say that my asmita works on overdrive sometimes when I’m learning something new. I have the personality where I want immediate results. Although I think that I’ve gotten much better with this in the 3.5 years that I’ve been practicing yoga (asanas). I’ve been trying to catch myself more lately and become more aware of this need for immediate results. Sometimes I do still have this need, but a lot more I’m finding myself just enjoying the asana wherever I’m at that day and think to myself, “it’s ok. you’re body just isn’t ready for that yet. but someday!”

    • Yes Daniel, Yoga is indeed a lifetime process since it’s about self-awareness and change. Whether it’s the body, the thoughts, our behaviors or emotions, this process of learning can apply to everything in life. And yes, welcome to the “asmita gets in the way” club. But there is a process in learning about asmita itself🙂

  5. I really relate to you, Daniel. I often expect immediate results once I learn something new. I relate this to my physical practice and more strongly in practicing kriya yoga in life. I’m experiencing this strongly at completion of teacher training. I struggle with making changes in my lifestyle to truly live yoga as my samskaras surface so frequently. After seeing things so clearly through self awareness I expect the changes to come more easily. Yet, I’m in a stage of vivarka accepting that change is truly difficult. Yet with practice vicara shines. Daily practice and letting go is the key.

  6. Reading this sutra couldn’t come at a better time. I have been teaching my Sunday classes for about 4 weeks now and I remember my first time teaching in the Studio. I was so scared , nervous, and excited at the same time. I didnt feel confident at all, but now that I have been practicing in a Studio once a week, I have slowly gained more confidence and becoming comfortable teaching. Throughout my yoga journey thus far, I have to say that starting to teach has been my toughest obstacle. Practicing and understanding who I am as a yoga student and teacher has taught me a lot about myself. Each week, I can see myself growing as a teacher and sharing my experience with my students

  7. I really love this sutra, as it promotes the idea of sticking with something long enough to experience it as an entire journey, and not abandoning a pursuit when things get complicated. In my life, I have always had so many interests that at times it felt I did not have time to commit wholeheartedly to any one of them. This led to me often taking up hobbies and quickly moving forward (with the exception of a few) before I could truly benefit from the experience and make it a part of who I am (samprajnatah). As I get older I realize that this is something I want to improve upon, so that I can learn skills and gradually and move from vitarka to vicara as a result of hard work and commitment, even when there is a struggle. This is a huge part of my focus in my yoga practice, and this sutra really puts words to it!

  8. Its so hard to let go of that attachment to ‘immediate results’. I find myself quitting things if I dont ‘get’ them right away so I def relate to all of you on this one (obv as well as the sutra itself:) ) Yoga is def a lifelong practice and Im glad I discovered it bc drawing awareness is the 1st step to change.

  9. In a results-focused world, it is easy to give up on something when we don’t see immediate change. This reminds me that my yogic journey is a lifelong one, and that transformation happens gradually, not overnight. Since I have started the process, I’ve noticed small changes both inside and out, and I look forward to the process of slow and steady transformation. Slow and steady does indeed win🙂

  10. Something I’ve been working on behavior-wise to combat my excessive vata tendencies is eating breakfast while sitting down at a table and doing nothing else (no getting up, no reading, etc.) This has been hard for me- sometimes I choose not to do it and tell myself some sort of justification to feel okay. I think the idea of “fake it til you make it” in the process of vitarka makes a lot of sense- Sometimes I begin to eat breakfast and think hey, I could be getting stuff done while I eat! But I have to let these thoughts go (ishvarapranidhana) and remind myself that some grounding and concentration on one thing at a time will eventually lead to morning vicara, ananda, and will hopefully become a second nature routine that leaves me in a sattvic state.

  11. Pingback: Sutra I.44 – Chapter I, Sutra 44 | weeklysutra

  12. “Since it is a step-by-step process, we are reminded of patience as well. Sustainable change occurs gradually. Letting go to the attachment of fast change is important!” This is a sentence I tend to forget way to often. I’ve always been told I have the most amazing patience and the ability to tell others to take a step back, don’t burn out – everything happens when it happens when it comes to working with others but when it comes to myself…patience what is that? Recently, I’ve noticed a significant increase in things in my live that are all going in the right direction but I find myself running after it full steam ahead. However, I’ve luckily been able to look at myself and finally say Allie slow down…it’ll all happen when it’s supposed to.

  13. The process of receiving joy from something gradually reminds me of my struggle with biking in the city. I have quite a few friends who use their bike as transportation and it seems so convenient. I ended up asking for a bike for Christmas last year so that it would be easier for me to travel around with them. However. my anxiety about riding so quickly next to cars hindered me from actually enjoying it. I would get on my bike and tense up, especially at stop lights and turning left. It became such an obstacle for me and everyone else in my life was nervous about me riding because of how small I am.

    However, I am practicing more and becoming calmer. Over the weekend I went on a long bike ride to the lake with my friend. He knows I am afraid and not very skilled so we went down side streets and to a path along the lake. I truly enjoyed myself. He even gave me tips on how to start and stop more seamlessly. I am very greatful to have someone in my life like him, who is patient enoough to understand that “sustainable change occurs gradually.” I am looking forward to my next bike ride.

  14. This sutra resonates with me because a lot of the time I think I avoided changing because I knew it couldn’t happen right away. Through Yoga, I’ve slowly started to become OK with things being uncomfortable at first and change being a gradual process. Visualization has been super helpful for me because when I find I’m in that uncomfortable place, I know it’s a part of reaching my end goal and things should get better with time. In a way, Yoga was the first change I took for myself. Not the asana, but the way of approaching life. It’s certainly gotten easier to practice and I am enjoying the ride.🙂 The next uncomfortable step I need to take involves being more honest so I can achieve self-love and have better relationships. Yoga has given me the tools to help me feel prepared for this action (no matter how difficult it may be) and let go of the results.

  15. This sutra identifies key reasons why I am so drawn to yogic practices. I especially like the “in the yoga world” segment of this passage. You wrote that an interpretation of this sutra is “the journey of calming the mind, increasing self awareness and experiencing our true nature”. I think this beautifully illustrates the yogic path and reminds me of some beautiful, centering experiences I’ve had through my own abhyasa. In one of the previous sutras I read that the aim of yoga is to build self awareness, decrease suffering, and increase inner peace – this is a teaching that is very close to my heart and it was brought up again in this passage when it says “As we develop more self awareness, being able to observe and change our behaviors, thought patterns and reactions, transformation occurs at a gradual pace”. Often times when people try to make life changes, whether it’s dieting, exercising, or reading more, the attempt to make change falls flat after a few weeks. I think this sutra is showing us why those changes don’t last, because there is no development of self awareness. When there is no self awareness our desires and motives originate from our egos and ultimately they will not help us attain inner peace. After reading this sutra and reflecting I am infinitely thankful that I stumbled into a yoga class at the age of 16 and have been able to apply these teachings so early on in my life.

  16. This sutra reminds me of the incredible devotion Hanuman had for Rama and Sita, his love for them was so great every single fiber of his being had literally written Rama all over it. I often times feel ashamed by my Pitta nature and my tendency to lash out and forget that we, according to what I believe to be true, has a purpose, even the smallest of creatures seeks happiness and what great happiness can there be than to find the path of the Bodhisattva and transform not only our lives but the lives of others, break the cycle of samsara. I find myself trying to expedite a process that maybe comes natural and fast for some and perhaps it will take many births for me, perhaps I am bound to cosmic wheel of life for all these lives in all the worlds, who knows. Here is noble and loving Hanuman, his love and devotion for Rama has allowed him to become one, one with the lord and he is Rama and Rama is him. I sometimes sit and chant for minutes, sometimes hours for compassion, compassion to come into my heart and show me this divine love and devotion so I can also have every fiber of my being become one with this universe, so I can somehow find the middle path. Yet, at times I can be a complete bitch, excuse mon français, to my husband and somehow find benevolence for an annoying gnat (sorry dearest gnats but at times your existence does bring me annoyance) and I feel defeated, like I am cursed to never find the true way, the true middle path. The practice of detachment is slowly eroding away those fears, those material conceptions, and helping me understand that it all comes with time, devotion and practice.
    Om Mani Padme Hum

  17. This sutra reminds me that our society always wants fast change – we want to lose weight fast, be the best at something right away, or find a meaningful and lasting relationship/friendship with the first person we meet. I have to remind myself over and over again that change requires this continuous practice as mentioned in the this sutra as well as enjoyment and then flow. Every time I start a new job or am transitioned to a new account for work, I want to be perfect right away. I expect this of myself. And I have to let go of these expectations because they just are not realistic. It really hits home when positive psychology states that it takes 10 years for total absorption. What have I done in my life for 10 years? I honestly cannot think of one other than be with my husband (yes it has been that long). So as I continue with my journey in teaching yoga, I have to remind myself that I won’t be perfect when I first start out and I may not even enjoy it! But slowly I will become more and more familiar with my teaching style and it will get easier for me. I, of course, want this to happen right away. But realize that it may take a few months or even years to experience total absorption. This reminds me of a team development model called storming, forming, norming and performing. First, everything is new and not easy and storming occurs. The group starts to work together and forming happens. They get into a groove or flow in which norming comes into play. And lastly, once the team has truly learned each others strengths and works together as a team, they start performing. It’s never easy at first, but eventually vicara and ananda will be experienced. I just need to have a little bit more hope and faith in the process.

  18. Calm mind and complete absorption are integral part of my “feeling of peace”, the feeling of being in tune with what surrounds me (at many levels). I experience it when I kick off my mind distractions and dedicate myself to an activity I enjoy and that has enough challenge to require focus. This makes me realize that the “object” is not irrelevant in the process, but picking something I connect with facilitates reaching that state. My preferred “objects” are traveling (and get absorbed into the new culture and new environment), cooking and actually doing research, which is my job.

  19. One of the best things that diving deeper into a yogic state of mind has done for me is that it has allowed me to become comfortable with “where I am” in all areas of my life. The transition from a cursory understanding of some thing to a deeper comprehension is so long, slow and subtle that sometimes it feels like we are making no progress at all. Becoming mindful of how this process permeates all areas of my life has allowed me to loosen my control and desire to be able to analyze, track, quantify.

  20. This sutra reminds me of a personal philosophy I try to live by. Which is to try new activities or join a social situation even if it makes me feel awkward or nervous to do so. Understanding that the more I do something the less awkward or nervous I will feel, helps me make these changes over time. So hopefully this yoga journey will help me do this in more aspects of my life.

  21. I’m not the greatest at presenting things to a group of people. I took on teaching Yoga to better myself and help others onto their journey. I’ve found during our practice teaching sessions, I become nervous and forget all I know. I started to practice more and more every other day and started seeing progression. I see that through a little more time, I will be able to detach from my “Um’s” and seem even more comfortable than I’ve become.

  22. In many ways having to make a change (which is usually a little uncomfortable) is where the magic in your life happens. I like to think of when you are first making new friends. I went to four different schools in the span of four years. By the time I got to the fourth school I was almost indifferent about making friends. I was so tired of having to start the process of friendship over again. It can be really difficult to get to know someone. You first have to go through the awkward “get to know you” phase. There are some relationships that never leave this point because you might learn that they would not be a positive influence in your life. Yet, many times after going through the “get to know you” phase you find that a person has something special to add to your life and you find great delight being with them.

    I talked with my best friend, Jackie, on my way to work today. I do not only get joy from speaking with her but she is also a part of who I am as a person. She influences the way I think and I trust her guidance. She is one of the people that changed my perspective (I am pretty sure without even knowing it) on friendship and the importance of keeping strong relationships. This was a hard change for me but one that I found great happiness and comfort in the last few years. I am glad that making time for strong relationships has become a part of me as a person.

  23. I remember when Lucia brought this up our first evening of TT… it’s a supremely simple idea, yet hard to digest: with time, practice, patience, and persistence, one reaches union (or flow) with an object*. One worry that’s been in my head since the days of grade school is “Am I good enough?” It’s a haunting idea when it maturing- Can I get into Advanced placement classes? Can I get into the right college? Am I a good enough designer to make a living off of it? Am I a cooperative friend to have long-term roommates? Can I be a fulfilling partner without being absorbed in it? Can I keep all of these plates spinning while still reaching for the brighter stars in the galaxy?

    Thankfully, I’ve found a few small pieces of solace along my path… enough to just quiet my mind for a few moments at a time. Through yoga, I’ve learned that after you pick which plates you’d like to spin, they all move at different speeds. Some may need more persistent attention to stay spinning, some less In time, flow and sattva are achievable.

  24. Practice the good and detach the bad behaviors is easier said than done. I do see the bad existing behaviors and yet have an inertia to change or move forward. Well, at least i do accept that they are there and they need to be changed. When my mind got road blocks, i always find excuses or ways to get around without directly addressing them. So yes, i “fake” it from time to time to get by and be content with myself for the time being. Sometimes it works well but other times it doesnt but thankfully with advices and help from friends and family, i start understanding the problems more and see them at different angles or from other’s perspectives. I find that beside being calm and patient, learning to listen from others is very crucial to resolve my problems at hand. If i cant absorb the object myself yet, just be aware of it and absorb experiences from other people to tackle it.

  25. In this Yoga training class I am so excited about all of the new information, that however is causing (vitarka). I am not comfortable with myself faking it until I make it. I agree with Troy_P_2014, practicing the good and detaching from the bad is So Not easy. I am catching myself when old bad habits start. I am more aware of them and try to fake it and sometimes I am successful. The times I’m not I forgive myself and try to encourage myself to do better next time. It is defiantly a process which may take a little more than 10 years for me. But I am not giving up.

  26. This was happening to me at the beginning of my internship with my doula practice earlier this year. I doubting my ability to support these couples and felt I did live up to a standard due to my inexperience, it soon became clear that my doubt was sabotaging my experience. I became aware, did a little “fake it till you make it” and was myself and true…couples saw me for who I was and what I had to offer. As I go through this YTT I too doubt that I will be a good instructor. Is this a trait we possess to strive to do our best? I used to think so, but through this sutra and many others, things are not always what they seem. Awareness, reflection and detachment show us that a-ha moment! Love the dimmer switch comparison….I will be using that!

  27. “Through the process of cultivating practice and detachment, one gradually transitions (anugamat) from a superficial (vitarka) understanding of the object* to a deeper comprehension (vicara), leading to a state of joy (ananda).”

    This sutra definitely has applied to my life in regards to my move from Michigan to Chicago in 2008. After making the decision to attend design school in Chicago, I had to leave everything behind me and move to a huge metropolis. I was twenty years old when I made this decision and had visited Chicago once in my life.

    The transition (anugamat) for me was extremely difficult at first. Everyday I was learning how to survive by myself! No family, no friends, no familiar bed to sleep in. There was a point that I found myself staring out my apartment window, gazing onto Lake Michigan, listening to my favorite band, and crying like a baby. I felt sorry for myself and alone.

    After this experience and some years passed by, I felt as if my mind had a complete awakening (vitarka) to (vicara). I no longer feel alone! I have cultivated personal relationships with wonderful people, have nursed the relationships I have back in Michigan by visiting regularly, and have worked on establishing a successful career and fulfilling life in Chicago. According to psychology, it takes ten years to reach the state of complete understanding and absorption, and I’m still on my way- but I can’t imagine feeling better than I already do about where I live- and I probably will. It takes a significant amount of perserverance to achieve ananda, and also the desire to want to- but the a-ha moment is a gratifying feeling to momentarily observe!

  28. This is a tough one. It is difficult to not feel frustrated or lose confidence in one’s ability and skills. Sometimes with so MUCH information it’s hard to not begin to feel overwhelmed. With 24 hours in a day and only so much energy, it feels distracting because there is the inability to do only one thing and get awesome at it. That’s when I love to use the Alfred Adler quote that says we need the courage to be imperfect.

  29. Fake it till you make it! Love this. I really don’t see anything wrong in this idea. What I take away from this, is that we can try something new, and be ok with not being great at it immediately. If we only do what we are good at, it would limit us to grow. This sutra really gives the idea of being patient with ourselves and even laughing at our journey along the way.

  30. That uncomfortable feeling of being new at something is big reason many people stay in the jobs they have. No one likes to be the awkward new person, so they would rather stay in a job they are unhappy with rather than make the change. I have been in the pharmacy field for 15 years, far longer than I ever intended. Partly because I have reached that state of flow, I could do the job in my sleep, and partly because it was hard to find another flexible job. I love that my best friend was brave and left a stressful job in finance to go to school to be a vet tech, her passion. She has inspired me. Starting on yoga teacher training is my step in the direction toward something fulfilling for myself. I have worked my last days in the pharmacy field and will not be going back after maternity leave. There will be vitarka, but over time with lots of practice and continued learning, the ease will come.
    My husband and I often mention the insanity of doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. I think it’s just that fear coming back, you want to do what you know. But when those same actions don’t bring the results you want, it becomes necessary to make the sometimes scary changes and go through the initial discomfort. Applicable in so many facets of life!

  31. My first impression was . . . 10 years?!?!?! Oh wow that is some commitment. I really like to concept of a dimmer switch. I know myself – I want to do everything right away and right now. Instant expert I guess. I’ve approached my life in that way for years and now I see I’ve actually become an expert in nothing! Jack of all trades, master of none. I think Yoga Teacher Training is a great opportunity for me to practice this. Sometimes when I sit and read, I wish I could just poof know it and be great. I treat it like a formula. Read the books + practice asana + meditate = insta-yogi! I think I need to slow it down and just enjoy the educational journey. I’ll be a yogi but only if I give myself the freedom to do so.

  32. What an amazing experience it would be to truly experience objects and people in union with our true selves. That definition of bliss is one that we don’t often hear, but sounds very accurate. Can you imagine if we did not attach any extraneous meaning to the things we encounter every day? Our minds would have to be so quiet, pure, and simple. That state of mind seems to be a far cry from the chaos that most of us experience each day. Therefore, I appreciate the emphasis on slow meaningful change in the description of this sutra. We certainly cannot expect that going to a few yoga classes would transform our state of mind, so our quick-fix society needs to trust that this process will occur over time.

  33. I’ve been really uncomfortable with the “fake it ’til you make it” approach, but I have to take my own advice and call on an experience when I was successful with this. It was my first clinical rotation and I felt like I didn’t know anything about diabetes. My mentor asked me if I knew more than the people I would be counseling and the answer was obvious, yes. All I had to do was keep one step ahead and I knew I could do that. Teaching yoga is way more intimidating to me though. It seems the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. However, by cultivating a personal practice over the last few months I’m learning to appreciate the process. I’m starting to be able detach from worrying about what my students will think. My approach is to plan classes that make me feel really great afterwards. It’s hard to detach from wanting people to enjoy what I teach, but my confidence is building as I begin to plan classes that I know I’d enjoy as a student.

    • The “fake it ’til you make it” approach is another tool reminding us that whatever new endeavor we choose to do, it will probably be clumsy until we do it often enough that confidence begins to radiate. In a sense, faking confidence is a bhavana, a vision of who you want to be. So you act it out until one day, it simply is you, there is no acting happening.

  34. So fun to reread these Sutras after completing the training. I particularly enjoy reading about and remembering starting to teach in teacher training. So much anxiety and fear of failure, dread even when preparing practices and being able to guide my fellow student yogis through a practice. There was a moment when had I not made the commitment to completing the training I’m pretty sure I would have said No thank you, I’m fine where I am with teaching. But, the dimmer switch metaphor holds true, because the month after the what I perceived as my failed session to teach, I had a better experience. The next one better, and for my last teacher training session I had to teach I had the confidence to have fun with guiding the practice and also try something new. How did that happen? Commitment, making sure to come back each and every time to training, having a loving and supportive teacher and a fellow group of yoginis who were going through the same thing which made for a learning circle. My favorite expression about learning or growing in a supportive environment is “coddling and pushing”. There’s a little love, and a little bit of shove. Gets you to the next level.

  35. Ha! I have really struggled with not knowing enough about and having never practiced yoga. I am an expert in my job but I did not become an expert immediately. In this world of instant gratification (and I am very guilty of this) it is hard not to want to know it all immediately. I have had to step back and reflect A LOT that I cannot know it all NOW. I am an over-achiever who wants to know everything about what I delve in to. I want to know more about chakras, Ayurveda, and poses so I know I will be on this journey for a very long time. I just have to let go and know that it is going to take time. A journey for knowledge to last a lifetime.

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