Posted June 3rd, 2013 by Erin under Student Writings, Yoga Philosophy.

As a part of the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at Karuna, students spend a great deal of time developing their practice of Svadhyaya, or self reflection, by reading various scripture and writings. The primary text used throughout the course is The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The following is based on a meditation on the second sutra of this text submitted by Kitty Troger, a current trainee in the program.
Given the definitions of Yoga as chitti-vritti-nirodhah in Patanjali’s Sutra 1.2, how does the way you do yoga challenge the way you think and feel? How does the way you thinkand feel challenge the way you do yoga? Discuss and be succinct.
Yoga challenges us to calm the mental noise that results from sensory
stimulation. We often confuse this mental noise with who we are, but it is only a
reflection of the perceptions, thoughts, and feelings that we have gathered over
the course of our human experience. Yoga is a way of being, a way of quieting all
of the preconceptions that we have developed, thus allowing us to see the world
with new and unfiltered eyes.
This is difficult for us because, like all creatures, we rely on sensory input and
experience to develop our view of the world. However, all of these accumulated
“truths” actually blind us to the underlying reality of the world and the natural
essence that is our selves. If we could only maintain the inquisitive senses of a
child, untainted by society, culture, and other learned behavioral modifiers. The
art of yoga is regaining our connection with the pure essence from which we
arose from the ether into being.
Once we realize our connectivity to this pure essence, the truth we were
searching for becomes self-evident. Yoga is the process of removing the
experiential programming from our minds, inevitably bringing us into unity with
the ultimate reality. At the end we emerge, as if from a chrysalis, fresh and
renewed, no longer searching and instead simply being. At that point we realize
the perfect bliss of living, living in the moments that have surrounded us all along.
This is the power of Yoga.

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