I don’t know when I first heard the term, “dig one whole deeply,” yet as I made my journey through life learning more and more about yoga, the term came up often.
In the Yoga Sutra, written by the sage Patanjali, which consists of 195 aphorisms, placed into 4 succinct chapters. He describes to us the goal of yoga, challenges we need to overcome, the possibilities we can achieve in a state of yoga and what we can attain through this transformed state of mind.
One of the Yoga Sutras that has been speaking to me lately is Yoga Sutra 1.32—chapter one, verse 32.
YS 1.32 tatpratisedhartham eka tattvabhyasah
Translated, for the purpose of removing the symptoms, we must practice one path and we must do it for some time. There is no short-term solution.
As one of my teachers said, “There are many ways off the mountain, choose one and stick to it.” Patanjali does not say that it has to be yoga that we practice. The point is that we practice something that transforms our soul regularly and with presence.
I truly never thought that I would still be practicing yoga 30 plus years after I was introduced to the practice through a book. I didn’t know I was digging one hole deeply, yet I was.
There have been many trials and errors along the way; it has been easy and fun, terrifying and hard. I have wanted to give up and I’ve taken time off from my practice on occasion. Always though I have returned, the sutras, the poses, the chanting and the quiet time of meditation.
I have birthed and raised children, traveled the world, taught 100’s and possibly thousands of students in public schools and in yoga studios. What has sustained me is my practice. I have tried to convey over the years to my students the importance of regular and sustained practice. It gives us a foundation and helps us to deal with whatever life may bring us. The foundation allows us to develop depth and focus. This focus invites a quiet mind and a deep connection to Spirit, where our genius and precious purpose is revealed to us.
Does the practice have to be yoga? No. Patanjali does not say this though it is implied as being a part of the yoga sutra. The important part is that we stick with our spiritual practice whatever it may be. There will be starts and stops as well as ups and downs. We stay with the practice—no matter what—and see what becomes of us.
I do recommend a teacher or guide of some sort along the path. I have had many over the years until I found the right lineage and teacher that worked for me.
So how do you begin? You start simply and continue. Does the practice ever end? That depends on the person. As long as I am breathing, there will be a practice in my life. Give it a try and then continue.
Not sure where to begin? Check out my free eBook, Self-care Guidelines.