DAY 31: Yoga Sutra 1.31

1 Oct

Sutra 1.31:

duhkha daurmanasya angamejayatva shvasa prashvasah vikshepa sahabhuva

  • duhkha = unpleasant, suffering, grief, misery, pain
  • daurmanasya = dejectedness, despair, melancholy, sadness
  • angamejayatva = trembling of the body, nervousness, restlessness
  • shvasa = breath, respiration, hard breathing
  • prashvasah = (prasvasa) breathing in
  • vikshepa = distraction,
  • sahabhuva = counterpart of, connected, being together

Translated loosely into English;

The four causes of distraction are suffering, despair, trembling of the body and laboured breathing.

The four causes of distraction given in this sutra are a direct consequence of the 9 obstacles in Sutra 1.30.  If there is no distraction to begin with, there would be no obstacle to overcome.  What are the subtle causes for distraction?

Suffering;  Pain of discipline, pain in lengthy practice sessions, pain of commitment,

Despair; Frustration with practice, Feelings of inadequacy, Sadness

Trembling of body or mind; Tremors from lengthy practice, unsteady breath, mind fluctuations showing physical manifestation, restlessness/inability to commit to lengthy practice.

Laboured breathing; Mind is not focused on controlling the breath, too much restriction on the breath causes it to become stressed.

These are all indicators of subtle obstacles within the mind and/or body.  For most students, asana is the practical starting point to begin to focus the mind.  Once the techniques of asana and pranayama have been mastered, the student can move towards deepening meditation practices.

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