In yoga, we move through the practice to see and embrace our truest, highest Selves – the whole and perfect ones that are always there, even though we forget like, all the time. In Yoga Sutra 1.30, Patanjali lists nine obstacles of the mind that prevent us from seeing ourselves as we really are:
- sensuality (let’s interpret this as indulgence)
- false perception
- slipping from ground gained
- failure to reach firm ground
After focusing on the first three obstacles last week, this week we’re going to bring our attention to carelessness, laziness, and sensuality, or indulgence. Like disease, dullness, and doubt, these obstacles are tamasic in nature, meaning that they tend toward inertia and passive resistance.
Carelessness: We can think about carelessness as negligence or a lack of mindfulness. This can show up in many ways, but perhaps the most relatable one is in our relationships. Especially with the people we’re the closest to and most comfortable with, it’s easy to get stuck in patterns and react automatically to situations that come up. By understanding ourselves on a deeper level through the practice of yoga, we can carry that mindfulness off our mat and share it with the people in our lives by being present and grateful.
Laziness: Everyone needs a lazy day now and then. But if you find that you’re constantly moving at a sloth’s pace, or feeling resistant to doing anything besides binging on Netflix, it might be time to get super intentional about getting out there and being active. Getting on your mat is a great way to break the sloth cycle!
Sensuality: In this context, sensuality can be interpreted as indulgence, or craving. There’s obviously nothing wrong with eating a cookie, for example, but that feeling of wanting ALL THE COOKIES after the first bite? That’s indulgence calling your name.
Is one of these three obstacles resonating with you? Come to your mat this week and see if you can start to notice where it shows up in your life. By becoming aware of where obstacles have disconnected us from our truest selves, we can begin to practice overcoming them.
So what are you waiting for?
Written by guest blogger and teacher, Lauren Roberts!