Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yoga - Tri Me!

Yoga Sutra II.1
tapah svadyayesvara pranidhanani kriya yogah

Kriya Yoga consists of tapas, svadyaya, isvara pranidhana.

The main course of The Yoga Sutras is chapter II, The Chapter on Practice (Sadhana Pada). It begins with a three point plan of action, Kriya Yoga, and ends with an eight point plan, Astanga Yoga, that spills over into the beginning of chapter III. In a single sentence (sutra II.1), Patanjali brings together the three big paths of yoga: Karma Yoga (The Yoga of Action), Jnana Yoga (The Yoga Of Wisdom), and Bhakti Yoga (The Yoga of Love and Devotion) that correlate with the three pactices in Sutra II.1 self-discipline (tapas), self-study (svadyaya), and surrender to a higher power (isvara pranidhana). These three practices are fuel for the whole person. Tapas nourishes the body; Svadyaya nourishes the mind; Isvara pranidhana nourishes the spirit.

I took this photo while on my morning walk to work. (No, I'm not a photographer nor have I ever enjoyed taking photos, but I decided to dust off the digital camera and start taking pictures of random things around town that inspired me to put on some Yoga Goggles.) This picture is of a sculpture-fountain located where the Cherry Creek bike path crosses Steele St. in Denver, CO. For weeks, I had been admiring this fountain and how its three concrete triangle-structures shoot streams of water out that all flow together in the center to form a single stream. With my luck, the morning I finally remembered to bring the camera it was Fall already and the fountain had been shut off. I took the picture anyway as an illustration of how blocked I am when I'm not practicing yoga enough and my "streams" don't flow together disconnecting my body, mind and spirit. But when the three steps are practiced evenly and they flow together the implied forth step can be eventually realized: samadhi.

Read about the Big-3 paths of yoga: They are found in The Baghavad Gita Ch. 3: Karma Yoga, Ch. 4: Jnana Yoga, Ch. 12: Bhakti Yoga.

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