The goal of using the practices described in yoga sutra 2.29* is to develop the razor-sharpened sword of your higher mind: discrimination, which is also known as buddhi. Without conscious development to open this channel to our higher mind, we normally default to the lower mind, consisting of the ego that identifies with past experiences and trusts the knowledge it receives from sensory input to make decisions.
The first five rungs of yoga are practices to train your attention to focus on the desired object of focus. When left untrained, our attention gets scattered and distracted. However, when you are able to control your attention, it enhances your ability to concentrate which, in turn, leads to meditation. It is through meditation that we are able to achieve samadhi, or deep absorption in the light of our true selves. Concentration, meditation, and samadhi are the last three rungs of the eight-rung system of yoga.
To explore the broader system of yoga in August, you may choose to refresh yourselves on the yamas and niyamas (the first two rungs) and pick one of them to apply in a class, at work, or in a relationship.
* Sutra 2.29: Yama niyama asana pranayama pratyahara dharana dhyana samadhayo’ stavangani. The practice of restraint, observances, posture, breath control, withdrawal from the senses, concentration, meditation, and samadhi creates the eight-fold path of yoga.
August updates and special events:
- Cassandra returns to teaching. After a summer sabbatical from teaching at 4yoga, Cassandra is back on the schedule, with eight classes for August!
- Four opportunities to practice with Debbie. We are delighted that Debbie Marquette’s schedule allows her to teach four classes this month!
- Yoga and Meditation at The Downing Museum. Join us for our special monthly classes at The Downing Museum: Cassandra will teach the yoga class on Saturday, August 11, and Alice will continue to lead the meditation class on Saturday, August 25. Please note that both classes meet at 10:30 a.m. For details and to register, see this post or collect one of our new rack cards at the studio. (Thanks to Jack LeSieur, Director of The Downing Museum, for creating these cards to promote the @the Museum classes!)
- Guest teacher on August 19. On Sunday, August 19, we welcome Sydni Elhubishi for her second appearance as a guest teacher in the 4 p.m. Basics class. To learn more about Sydni, see the introduction of her we shared in July.
- Living Our Yoga Yin class. On Friday, August 24, Angie continues the monthly Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with an exploration of this month’s yoga sutra, sutra 2.29.
- Teacher adjustments for Gentle classes. At the end of August, we will transition to our fall teacher assignments for the Gentle classes, with Angie teaching on Tuesdays, Frances remaining on Thursdays, and Tori teaching on Fridays.
For a full list of August classes, please see our calendar page—or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. We also post the day’s class(es) each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.