Because the goal of studying the yoga sutras is Self-realization, this month we will take a look at yoga sutra 2.3 (translation and interpretation by SwamiJ): There are five kinds of coloring (kleshas): 1) forgetting, or ignorance about the true nature of things (avidya); 2) I-ness, individuality, or egoism (asmita); 3) attachment or addiction to mental impressions or objects (raga); 4) aversion to thought patterns or objects (dvesha); and 5) love of these as being life itself, as well as fear of their loss as being death. (Avidya asmita raga dvesha abhinivesha pancha klesha.)
It is interesting to notice that these mental barriers to self-realization also correlate to the chakras “below the belt.” Forgetting the true nature of who we are happens when we identify with the animal nature of ourselves. The first chakra—at the base of the spine—is about survival and the root of the fear of death. The second chakra is the pain and pleasure center, where we cultivate attraction to what we like and aversion to what we don’t like. The third chakra correlates to I-ness, our individual power and ownership.
It seems that our current collective human society is stuck in the third chakra; therefore, as you rise above the “tribal values,” you may feel some fear. However, when we as individuals and small groups move above the belt to the heart center, the polarities of pain and pleasure are perfectly balanced, and we realize that what we do to another, we do to ourselves. The love from that center is unconditional and excludes nothing.
Many asanas are great opportunities to focus on the energy centers that the poses stimulate. This month perhaps your teacher can bring those to your attention while you practice with the intention of purifying those centers and noticing what issues you can work on in your life.
June updates and special events:
- Five chances to practice with Debbie. We are delighted that Debbie Marquette’s schedule allows her to offer five classes in June! Join her in the first half of the month for Basics, Gentle, and Mixed classes.
- Yoga and Meditation at The Downing Museum. Come practice with us at The Downing Museum! This month, Cassandra will teach the yoga class on Saturday, June 9, and Alice will continue to lead the meditation class, which will meet on Saturday, June 23. For details and to register, see this post.
- Yoga for All on Sundays. By popular demand, the Yoga for All class has returned to the schedule at 2 p.m. on Sundays! Join Ashley as she makes yoga accessible for everyone—all sizes, shapes, and abilities—by deploying a body-positive philosophy.
- Living Our Yoga Yin class. On Friday, June 29, Angie continues the monthly Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with an exploration of selected yoga sutras. This month, our focus will be sutra 2.3.
- Cassandra’s summer teaching break. Other than an occasional Yoga@the Museum class, Cassandra will be taking a summertime sabbatical to allow her to attend a week-long Loving Kindness retreat at the Bhavana Society, prepare for the next two levels of Pilates testing, and complete continuing education to better serve 4yoga. She will be learning about providing yoga for cancer, chronically ill, and terminally ill patients and deepening her work with restorative yoga. She writes, “I plan on bringing all of that information home to us at 4yoga so keep on with your asana practices! You have some wonderful teachers at 4yoga, the best in Bowling Green, and I plan on attending as a student as much as possible so don’t be surprised to see me on a mat next to yours!”
For a full list of June classes, please see the online schedule or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. We also post a brief update each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.
Accessing studio after class has begun: Remember that even if the front door is locked when you arrive, you can still join us for class. Just come to the back door of The Pots Place (look for the blue building) and ring the buzzer. The teacher will then unlock the door remotely for you to enter through the pottery studio.