I am finding our time spent working with the antarāyā thought provoking and the experience is following me off the mat and into life. We started looking at the antarāyā last term – the nine obstacles to a state of yoga. Peter Hersnack’s grouped the nine antarāyā into three: problems with support, issues around energy and issues around direction. Using Peter’s framework, the first antarāyā are:
- vyādhi – illness, loss of support
- styāna – lethargy, welded to inappropriate support
- saṃśaya – doubt, becoming sure of our support
As last term progressed, we tried to become more aware of the role of our internal support. On a physical level we can think of this as somewhere within the core of the body. Energetically, we have previously discussed the concept of puruṣa in relationship to our centre. Puruṣa or ‘the dweller in the city’ is constant but indefinable as opposed to prakṛti which describes all that is material and ever changing. If we come back to centre, we find a support that does not change and is always there; it is not affected by chaos or time.
This term, we have worked with a focus on energy:
- pramāda – impatience, using energy as your support
- ālasya – fatigue, lack of energy
- avirati – distraction, searching for energy
I asked the following questions at the beginning of term:
- When you are full of energy, do you conserve it or do you use it all up?
- If you feel tired and have the option to rest, do you?
- Do you feel a need to turn off to rest? How do you do that?
Did you know the answers or did you find more questions? Here are the names of the readings from Soul to Soul, compiled and edited by John Mundahl. If you do a search online, the individual readings usually appear in their entirety:
- Choose your Part, Then by John Mundahl – making this life count, ‘… there’s no rewind’
- Are your potatoes heavy? Author unknown – the energy we use holding onto resentment, pain and negativity
- I am already by Danna Faulds – the energy we waste trying to become something better without realising what we are
- Delight in Waking Up by Yogi Amrit Desai – the energy frittered away on self-judgement and blame, ‘know that you will fall asleep along the way’
- A Sanskrit Salutation to the Dawn, Author unknown – stay present to use your energy on now rather than what was or what could be
- You Cannot Receive Love When Your Heart Is Clenched by Dr Henry Emmons – beginning to consider how to counter the antarāyā.
Next term we are going to work with the last three antarāyā and issues around direction:
- brāntidarśana – confused direction
- alabdhabhūmikatva – lack of direction
- anavasthitātvani – loss of direction
Some of you may remember we did some work around the psoas (hip flexor) as a muscle to inform rather than react. The psoas is intimately linked to our ability to be still and to move forward emotionally as well as physically
Looking forward to the next term of delights. See you on 8 June (if you know anyone who would like to join us do give them my details!)
PS Stories to follow about Ganesh – remover of obstacles! (Elephant headed hindu god pictured above)