Yoga Sutra 1.12
"practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break, and in all earnestness"
I still remember my first yoga class. I was in Vail, Colorado and I took a class called "Yoga for Athletes". I was very into working out, lifting weights, and running back then so this class appealed to my ego.
After class, the yoga teacher asked me if I was a runner. She noticed that my hamstrings and gluteal muscles (my butt!) were very tight. All the running, lunges, and squats were creating an imbalance in my body.
As I was leaving the studio that day, I noticed a poster of a girl in a beautiful uttanasana (forward bend). She was completely folded in half and looked so peaceful. After an hour of struggling to reach my toes, I thought to myself, "I want to do that someday".
Fortunately for me, I was hooked on yoga after my first class. I did yoga as often as possible and began studying it and teaching it as soon as I could.
I totally forgot about that poster and my desire to be in a perfect forward bend until one day about ten years later. I was in a class thoroughly enjoying my uttanasana (forward bend) and a flash of that poster came to my mind.
I realized that my "goal" had been attained! It took ten years of a committed practice but it actually happened.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali tells us that we must commit to our practice regularly, for a long period of time and with full attention.
Had the yoga teacher told me after my first class that it would take me ten years to do uttanasana, I am not sure that I would have believed her. I may have even said "well then forget it, that's way too long!" Having patience is an important and necessary quality that yoga teaches us. When we are patient, our mind is calm and settled so anything that we are doing will benefit by our centered state of mind.
Patanjali also teaches us to fully attend to our practice. Its almost impossible to practice yoga without full attention. Try standing in tree pose and thinking about how long you are going to have to stay in tree pose. This will surely cause you to fall out of the pose. So our full attention requires that we let go of our attachment to the outcome. If we are in a pose and focusing only on when the pose will end, we are not giving our full attention to the pose. This can relate to any goal that we hope to achieve in life.
So practicing yoga requires the qualities of patience, devotion and faith, which in turn TEACH us the qualities of patience, devotion and faith.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras