The yoga sutras are poetic texts of ancient wisdom. But their power lays dormant until we understand them well enough to apply them in a way that clearly enhances our lives and our communities. A good yoga teacher is a bridge builder; someone who can create revelation in students by relating new wisdom to what students already know and understand. I work weekly with a group of yoga teachers who are advancing their training by studying the sutras together. We are enjoying chewing on these aphorisms (bits of timeless wisdom) and figuring new ways to build bridges of understanding for our selves and our students. This week we are looking at Sutra 11 from chapter 2: The Sadhana Pada – the path of soul growth
The sutra says: The Hindrances (kleshas) are to be Removed by Meditation
Basically Patanjali is saying, “don’t waste time trying to battle hindrances with action or mental control because it is not going to work. They must be ‘pulled out by the roots’, which means getting down to the energetic source and this requires going deeper than action and thought; this requires meditation”.
Remember the hindrances are:
1. Avidya – ignorance of our vibrational nature (and therefore our creative power)
2. Asmita – thinking we are acting alone and effecting only ourselves
3. Raga – desperate wanting
4. Dvesa – disgust or repulsion
5. Abynavesha – fear of things falling apart
Now these hindrances arise with each new level we move ourselves towards. Read that again: These hindrances arise again and again each time we grow further into our fullness. In other words, each time we have a new set of desires, these hindrances must be dissolved in order to align vibrationally with the desires and allow them in. “If you want it, you can have it, when you get out of the way…”
Think about something you are living now that long ago felt out of reach. Get it clear in your mind. Now, go back to how it felt before you had it and review the hindrances. Can you see how Adviya was present for you as you held the not-yet-manifested-desire? This would be the a feeling of overwhelm at what is involved in making the dream come true. Perhaps a feeling that it is impossible. Can you sense how Asmita was present when you held that not-yet-manifested desire? This would be the feeling of having to act alone and compete against others in order to get what you want. Can you sense how there was some desperate wanting? Do you remember some repulsion (perhaps at the thought of failure or self-judgement about your ability to succeed)? And can you recall Abynavesha; the fear that things would “die” or fall apart completely in your attempt to move forward?
And now here you are living that thing that felt so out of reach back then. Whether or not you realized it, you breathed through the kleshas (hindrances), became a vibrational match to them and expanded! And you did it with some form of meditation. Remember that meditation is not just sitting on your butt and breathing in silence. It can anything that lines you up with source (e.g. makes you feel free and hopeful). It could be simple going about your life with a song in your heart and complete trust in divine order…yes, that is meditation.
Now, presently in your life, there are a new set of kleshas between you and where you want to go next. Can you sense them? Write a short list of desires present in your life now. When you read the list, notice where your mind goes and what your emotional state is. Can you sense the kleshas in these reactions?
Now here’s the thing to really get: you do not have to systematically focus on these kleshas and slash at them in order to dissolve them. In fact that would more likely strengthen them. Sometimes the best “meditation” is to let go of thinking about how to get your goals without letting go of wanting them. Something like, “yes I want all that, but today I am going to the beach with my dog to breathe and throw the frisbee.” That is part of the meditation that dissolves hindrances. Here’s the paradox… it is when we “step away from trying to make things happen” that we are inspired and guided to the most effective and fun ways to make them happen.
So why even care about the hinderances if happy distraction is the meditation that dissolves them? Well, when we are aware of them and can feel them hovering and consciously set intention to dissolve them… oh the meditation is much more powerful and manifestation quicken!
Wisdom Flow Yoga offers one of the most comprehensive and fun teacher trainings on the planet. We begin with a clear vision of the underlying philosophy – that every living being arises from and is rooted in divine energy, that we come to earth to joyfully expand and refine the expressions of Source Energy (aka Love), and by deepening our knowledge of body and mind we can focus our energy towards this fruitful joyful expansion. From this core philosophy we unfold the methodology of asana, pranayama, meditation, and more. Each day includes time for every student to take the “seat of the teacher” and practice using the voice of loving leadership. With this daily practice of voicing the material covered, teaching skills develop quickly. Our playful methods for remembering material help too. We sing and dance and use word association to quickly assimilate material in an atmosphere of relaxed playfulness.
Our teacher trainings are limited to 15 students and are led by three teachers so each person gets plenty of personal attention. This condensed intensive training is an immersion experience that roots the knowledge and skill deeply in each student. We meet ten hours each day and reading is required each night. Training fees are $2500. Accommodations are handled separately. We can help make arrangements for students coming from off-island. To read more about the Wisdom Flow Yoga 200 hr. Yoga Alliance certified program, click here. You are welcome to send an inquiry email to Jennifer@wisdomflowyoga.com. We look forward to exploring and expanding with you! Download Information and Registration Form Now.
Advance your Certification on Maui with Wisdom Flow Yoga School. Teaching and living Yoga is a constantly evolving path and requires a very practical application of the philosophy into our own lives. The best teachers are ones willing to seek further education and who enjoy chewing on leading edge concepts and teaching methods to keep their offering fresh, fun and effective. Wisdom Flow Yoga School welcomes you to our advanced training programs that will lead teachers currently certified at the 200-hour level to their 500-hour certification. Read more… Our first module is a live 9-day training session on Maui – One week with a 2nd weekend added. We choose this time frame to support working teachers who want to minimize their time away from work and/or family. This first module covers 120 hours of your 300-hour requirement for 500-hour certification. The remaining 180 hours will be completed remotely through weekly skype meeting with your teachers and classmates, projects, assignments, and streaming classes conducted through MauiOnlineYoga.com (our interactive online yoga website). This makes the advanced training affordable and easy to integrate into your life. It also establishes a continuing community connection with your fellow students and the Wisdom Flow Yoga School. Take a Look at our Curriculum. Our mission is to support your never-ending expansion as a healer and uplifter. Feel free to email Wisdom Flow Yoga with any questions. Download Registration From and Reserve your Spot.
JENNIFER LYNN is the founder of Wisdom Flow Yoga, a Vinyasa Flow style that blends the wisdom of optimal joint alignment and core strength with the playful flow of dance-like transitions. She has been teaching on Maui for ten years and offering Wisdom Flow Yoga Teacher Trainings since 2008. She is originally from that San Francisco Bay area. She received a B.A. in Mathematics and B.S. in Computer Science from San Jose State University. She has trained in TriYoga, Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga and Anusara Yoga. She has been teaching for 17 year, has established her own style and YA Certified Yoga Training School. Wisdom Flow Yoga is based on the heart-centered philosophy of Shiva/Shakti Tantra; Tantra means to weave expansion and Shiva/Shakti implies the expansion is into and between the seen and unseen. email Jennifer
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Years ago, Jasmine stepped into my Kula Yoga Studio and I knew instantly that she would become a yoga teacher. Not just any yoga teacher, but spectacular healer and soother. Five years later, she is part of the teaching staff at Wisdom Flow Yoga Studio and I am proud to have her. She is offering a free introduction class this Sunday 5PM. Don’t miss this opportunity to relax and unwind, turn inward, and recharge yourself at then end of the weekend. Here’s what Jasmine says about her class:
Dear friends, if your muscles feel tight and you want to give yourself an inner body massage then please join us at Wisdom Flow Yoga this Sunday for a free Deep Stretch class from 5:00pm – 6:30pm. Deep stretch is a practice of yin yoga. The focus is to soften the body and calm the mind. Support yourself with an abundance of props, then relax into a posture for three to five minutes. Follow cues designed to make one “let go” and unwind. With a steady practice one can gain greater flexibility physically, emotionally and spiritually. Increase mental clarity through reflection and meditation. Cultivate virtues such as humility, courage, patience, acceptance and forgiveness. Deep stretch gives balance to any active lifestyle. Call Jasmine with questions – 808-298-5562