The Five States of the Afflictions

The forms of suffering, or afflictions (kleshas), according to Patanjali, are ignorance, egotism, desire, aversion and fear of death. In stanza II.4 he points out that forms of suffering do not just occur in the fully active form but also in the so-called dormant, thinned and interrupted states when they are subliminal and we are often not conscious of being in their grip. When I was young I always believed that I was not afraid of death. Then one day I was in a life-threatening situation and this incredible fear of annihilation, completely unbeknownst to me, surfaced. It was only when this fear had become conscious that I was ready to do something about it.

Uniting Opposites in Asana

More on what posture was designed to be. A few weeks back I posted my commentary to Patanjali’s sutras II.46 and II.47, showing how far removed modern yoga has become from it’s original concept. Here now sutra II.48, which deepens the inquiry:

On Civilization in Crisis and What Yoga Could Do

Yoga has a solution to offer for our civilization in crisis by leading individuals and ultimately our civilization back to self-love, self-respect and from that to respect and love for other individuals, other life-forms and the super-organism, the biosphere. However, by reducing yoga to asana this remedy has been rendered impotent.

A Brief Overview of the Eight Limbs

When BKS Iyengar was once asked what he thought of Ashtanga Yoga he said, “There is only Ashtanga Yoga”. What he meant was that yoga that is not eight-limbed is not truly yoga. In this short video Gregor is explaining what is missing in a lot of modern yoga.

Only if posture becomes effortless can it support higher yoga.

Here is more evidence that the current Yoga-is-gymnastics-with-a-meditative-twist fad does not really stack up to what yoga truly is. In this stanza Patanjali defines the relationship between posture and the higher limbs. Included are many explanatory quotations from other scriptural sources and authorities.

II.47 Posture is then when effort ceases and meditation on infinity occurs.

What is Yoga Asana?

With yoga in they eyes of many modern practitioners reduced to posture (asana) a timely revisit to what Patanjali, the ancient codifier of yoga, said about the third limb. Here is the first part Patanjali’s definition, which he gives in sutra II.46.

What is the Most Important Part of Yoga?

I recently received a lot of inquiries for technical support in regards to intricacies of asana, pranayama and meditation practice. How to do it right, what needs to be changed in times of trouble? How to react to setbacks, injuries and how to fit it all in with an increasingly demanding life, time constraints, job difficulties, health-, mental health-, family-, and financial issues.