Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are the most important yogic text. This text is designed to help us understand ourselves, and through the steps illuminated by the 8 limbs of yoga, bring us to a state where we can find peace, through stilling the movements of the mind.
The process is fundamentally about ‘purification’; physically, emotionally and mentally; and the means to greater health in all these aspects. Purification essentially means refining; re-organizing and rebuilding the physical, emotional and mental vehicles with finer constituents, that eventually enable higher spiritual energies to operate through them. In the process we become increasingly self-determinate, rather than impulsively responding to stimuli in our environment.
Purifying the physical involves addressing our diet and lifestyle, and engaging in a Yoga Asana practise that clears the channels of the body, and brings harmony to the internal organs and the nervous system.
Becoming aware of the emotional body and learning will power, are an important part of controlling and changing the emotions. The discipline imposed in an asana practise, through watching the breath whilst holding uncomfortable positions, provides a great forum or training ground for learning equanimity. This is the ability to observe without jumping on the emotional band wagon. Additionally, breath work helps lessen the power of emotional states through its indirect effect on the nervous system. The value of learning to go through an emotional repertoire without reacting gives us character, and prevents us from giving into the whim of sensory temptation/ dictate.
Mentally – we need to become self-determinate in what we think, not flying from thought to thought in a random fashion or prompted by the giant thought forms of those around us. Learning to gradually subjugate the mind and concentrate, keeping the mind initially focused on one object is a start, and a pre-cursor to meditation. Meditation is the means of connecting to our subjective reality, which in its own right balances the nervous system and calms the influence of the flight and fight sympathetic nervous system. It is also the pre-requisite for any further serious spiritual endeavor.
Madeleine has been studying the yoga sutras since 2006 and has had the luck to participate in discourses with A.G Mohan and Srivatsa Ramaswami. She has also been studying Theosophy and the works of Alice. A. Bailey since this time, participating in regular seminars with William Meader www.meader.org
Madeleine is available for group work shops on yogic philosophy and one on one discussions.