Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life……

Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life.

However, even without outer obstacles,
we can encounter inner feelings that arise
and manifest as if obstacles to that re-turning.

Here it might be helpful to reflect
on how to cultivate the four pillars of
Maitrī, Karuṇā, Muditā and Upekṣā and
the role they can have in helping to transform
the unhelpful aspects of these inner feelings.

“Bhāvana is a beneficial attitude
that is consciously cultivated
despite tendencies to the contrary”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

With the spirit of Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33 in mind,
the cultivation of the four pillars is an inner practice
that can support a stepping, rather than stymieing,
onto our practice mat or seat through:

Maitrī
Cultivating a feeling of friendliness
towards our own attempts,
let alone other’s demands,
to distract ourselves.

Karuṇā
Cultivating a feeling of compassion
towards our bodies and minds,
whatever state we find them in.

Muditā
Cultivating a feeling of looking,
from a joyful space in ourselves,
at what we can do well and now,
rather than what we can’t do well or now.

Upekṣā
Cultivating a feeling of holding a distance from
the self-deprecation that can so often accompany
our attempts to elevate the quality of our inner life
and old responses to inner tensions and memories.

– Personal commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33

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