two roads diverged in a wood… #pain vs. #painless (Yoga Sutra 1.5)

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.
And it makes me wonder.

– Led Zeppelin

Patanjali outlines in Yoga Sutra 1.5 that there are five kinds of mental modifications that either lead to pain or are painless. We either obscure our happiness or we build upon it. We will talk about the 5 categories next week, but essentially happiness comes when we just ARE, we just choose to BE and unhappiness comes when we have expectations and agendas set for everything. Nothing ever turns out the way we imagined it 100%. Unhappiness comes from this anticipation and disappointment.

So how do we combat this natural instinct to set agendas and expectations? Practice yoga :). There are 4 different ways you can practice yoga, it doesn’t always require a downdog:

Karma Yoga– the yoga of action. This yoga is performing selfless acts without the intent of any gain or reward. This can be volunteering, donating, or any version of giving selflessly.

Bhakti Yoga– yoga practice of Divine love. This is any way you can surrender yourself to a higher power/ God. This can be prayer, worship or ritual.

Raja Yoga– the science of physical and mental control. This is any practice of physical yoga, pranayama (breath control) or meditation.

Jnana Yoga– yoga of knowledge or wisdom. This practice of yoga is the culmination of the other three. Once we are selfless servants, humble to a higher power and having complete ownership of our mind and body, THEN we can begin to dive into the intricacies of the Self and study ourselves.

Let me make this distinction, we choose pain or no pain. It’s not always conscious, but it is definitely choice. We are either aware or unaware of how we create these painful or not- painful experiences. To combat pain and suffering, we continue to study ourselves, practice yoga, find control, act selflessly and find compassion and love for ourselves and others THEN we will start to unveil that jealousy, ego, screwed perception, endless pursuit of success, money and fame are all illusions.

Peace comes from within, don’t seek it without.

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