Eclipse to Sutra 3.9


“We are born into nature, and without it nothing would move, nothing would change, nothing could happen. We seek to free ourselves from nature in order to transcend it, to achieve lasting freedom.”

–BKS Iyengar from Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

3.9 Translation: Study of the silent moments between rising and restraining subliminal impressions is the transformation of consciousness towards restraint.

I haven’t written much in awhile, because I have been digesting the past few weeks. On the previous eclipse, I woke up with this persistent call to write a letter to my past. It went a little like this:

Dear Past,

            Thank you for your lessons. The one where I learned how to use my voice, stand up for myself, know when it’s time to let go, surrender, be resilient, patient, and how to make crazy leaps of faith. Thank you, past, for teaching me that nothing is more important than love, and that every choice needs to reflect self-love, integrity, and truth.  Thank you and amen.

Status post eclipse–magical oil gathering ensues with magical women. Helichrysum always slays me. It’s powerful, healing, and a call to truth. It can speak to you in an instant. What is this Helichrysum? It’s a medicinal plant traditionally used for asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, headaches, liver ailments, skin disorders, and it has many more uses. As I was leaving this gathering, I backed into a parked car. Yes, parked. Hitting a wall or albeit a car in my circumstance was my bubble bursting moment. My bubble of, “I can be the uber-modern day goddess superwoman that can conquer it all bubble” was not working. It’s a good thing this bubble has burst. It really was not serving me.

Then came preparing for Patricia Walden’s workshop and being away from my baby for 4-days. The workshop was like going home. It is the practice that has kept me sane and grounded throughout the years. The workshop was the perfect closure to my letter to the past. I used to go to Patricia’s classes in Boston, and so here I was in my new life studying again in a way that has always nourished me deeply. Divine irony.

During the workshop we looked at Yoga Sutra 3.9 of B.K.S Iyengar’s translation. I recommend reading this sutra and Iyengar’s translation. Why it hit me like it did? In my life, I was being asked to transcend my own nature and conditioning in every way from how I practice, to how I connect to myself, my family, my daughter, how I live my life, and how I relate to all that encompasses the moment. In this sutra is the pause, the moment that we miss and then lapses, the coming home to the moment, breath, and the parked car we didn’t see.

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