What keeps us Keeping on?
What Keeps us Keeping on? What Gets us Getting On? …with it/life…
ABHYASA – Diligent, Focused practice
…yes practice, practice, practice…
“Be soft in your practice.Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in it’s course. It will go on it’s own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.”
MAKING PROGRESS IN ANY ENDEAVOUR
requires time, effort and focus.
World class athletes develop their prowess after many years of continuous PRACTICE. What we learn from teachers and books is important but no where as important as what we can acquire through our direct experiences.
That which cannot be described in words and can only be alluded to, the knowledge of our inner self – PURUSA, absolutely requires our attention inward and on a regular basis.
ABHYASA: is a disciplined, persistent effort to remain focused. This focus can be during physical (asana), breath work (pranayama), meditation (samyama), or even the act of learning to drive, play a musical instrument.
The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali state that ABHYASA is the effort required to maintain a focus and it is to be done over a long period of time, with sincerity and care. ABHYASA involves a committed effort to maintain your chosen practice long enough to reap its rewards. Abhyasa along with VIVEKA – keen discernment, is a primary practice that is fundamental to all progress.
In the classical sense, there is no YOGA practice without abhyasa and vairagya – the none clinging to external objects/outcomes. In the beginning it can be difficult to establish a regular practice. ABHYASA can prevent or counteract certain obstacles to yoga, such as disease, doubt and apathy. Diligent, focused practice will reduce/eliminate their detrimental effects.
Each time we practice an impression is made in our sub-conscious heart/mind. Over time the Abhyasa, becomes a habit – Samskara, that eventually becomes stronger than other less helpful habits. As the momentum of this abhyasa strengthens, practicing becomes easier and the benefits accrue.
It is important to stay on track, to keep on keeping on, to get on with getting on…
Practice makes perfect, and if we can get ourselves into a good routine, practicing becomes habitual and thus easier. Whether we attend a regular yoga class, or set aside time every morning to sit quietly and meditate, perseverance will ensure some level of progress. Over time our body, breath, heart and mind will becomes more clear, refined and pure, benefiting not only ourselves but everyone around us as well.
“Every time I practice, it empowers me and reinforces my positive direction.”
THE PATH OF THE YOGA SUTRAS – NICOLAI BACHMAN
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