woman-lying-in-grassThe word “ignorance” has such a negative connotation. I don’t know about you but when I hear that word I think of other words, like stupid, moronic and dumb.

But ignorance in its literal definition is not about being dumb. It’s simply about you not knowing something.

And we all have things we don’t know right?

Ask me something about golf and I will happily tell you I’m ignorant about that topic.

But in the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali talks about a different kind of ignorance that we yoginis can use our practice to dispel.

“Anityasuci duhkhanatmasu nitya suci sakhatmakhyatir avidya = Ignorance is regarding the impermanent as permanent, the impure as pure, the painful as pleasant, and the non-Self as the Self”

So in keeping with this philosophy YOU are not a mom, wife, yogini, sister. Those are just roles that YOU play in this life.

And the spiritual aim of yoga practice is to provide you with methods/tools that help you “see” the real you. The you behind the roles you play.

All of our practices, be it asana, pranayama, meditation or any other thing you do to get in the “zone” or to find your “zen place” is designed to help you experience yourself again.

Ya’ll know, that above all else I like my yoga to be practical and the cool thing about this sutra is that its practical applications are far reaching.

How?

Well think about it. If I know that I am not just a mom (good or bad), a wife (good or bad) a yogini (good or bad) then I can begin to let go some of the JUDGEMENT that I hold about myself and others.

If I can understand that who I am is “the eternal, never changing one” then I can cut myself some slack when I yell at my 10 year old for leaving the door open ONE. MORE. TIME.

If I know that who I am is an emanation of All There Is, then I can be easy on my daughter when she’s had a bad day.

At the end of the day, yoga has the capacity to help us see who we really are, and by extension see who others are as well.

It also has the capacity to help us dispel the ignorance!

The ignorance that says, “I am separate from them”.  “I am bad” I am not enough” I am unable”.

Because the truth of my being and yours is that we are worthy of existence. We are well able. And we by nature are “good” and deserving of all the good we can take.

Once we can let go of all the judgments and beliefs that hold us back then we can be fully happy and whole.

Do you use yoga as a spiritual practice?  What does your yoga practice mean for you?

Could you use more peace, energy and focus?

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