Yoga Sutra

Finding the ‘good life’ with the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali

Posted on Posted in Meditation, Mind, Personality, raja yoga, spirituality

 

Father time is undefeated. Today is the youngest you will ever be. Do not let the sands of time slip aimlessly through your fingers.

Sutra cover

Imagine if you could have back the years you have wasted on a bad marriage or dating the wrong person; recover the youth you lost to being overweight and unhealthy; get back the money you lost on bad investments; take back the lost decades spent in the wrong career; find lasting friendships instead of having squandered time around people who ended up betraying you?

For you, maybe it’s becoming a millionaire, or getting the perfect body, or falling madly in love, or waking up each morning feeling alive and optimistic. But you won’t find it if you are looking in the same places as everyone else. Don’t follow the crowd, because most of the world is just the blind leading the blind.

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is a time-honoured text that assists you to manoeuvre through the challenges life sends our way. Because life throws incredibly hard tragedies your way: sickness, injury, betrayal by close friends, failures of businesses, natural disasters, or the death of loved ones. You must be cool under pressure. You must live through it. You must thrive.

“Science gives us knowledge, but practical philosophy like the Yoga Sutra, gives us both knowledge, intuitive wisdom and a guide for fulfilled love and joy.”

The good life we all want is found at the intersection of science, knowledge, love-joy, and intuitive wisdom. The easiest place for you to find the “good life” is in this combination.

There are three very different routes to happiness. First the Pleasant Life, consisting in having as many pleasures as possible and having the skills to amplify the pleasures. This is, of course, the only true kind of happiness on the Hollywood view. Second, the Good Life, which consists of knowing what your signature strengths are, and then re-crafting your work, love, friendship, leisure and parenting to use those strengths to have more flow in life. Third, the Meaningful Life, which consists of using your signature strengths in the service of something that you believe is greater than you are—what is called a spiritual pursuit.

What you want out of life will not come from being another mindless consumer. You will find the good life by remembering what makes us humans great is our minds. The solution to your problems lies in your ability to know the complexity of the facets of yourself and how you develop and connect with these. While Plato taught that most people are deep in a cave, watching shadows on the wall, thinking they are seeing clearly, the Yoga Sutra teaches us that yoga of the mind and body frees us from a cave, gives us options and liberation from the shadows.

Bill Giles is a scholar of classical yoga with five publications, including is practical interpretation of The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Bill has been practising yoga for more than 40 years, and the patron of Samyama Yoga for more than 25 years. If you live in or near Canberra and would like to learn hatha and raja yoga please contact us. You can obtain a copy of The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali through our online shop.  Bill will also soon be running a Samyama Yoga teacher training course, so if you are interested in becoming a Samyama Yoga teacher or gaining an in depth understanding of hatha and raja yoga contact us.