Last month I spoke to the question “How Do You Connect?” by sharing my realization that for me, right now,  s l o w i n g    d o w n  is the answer. Quite by chance – but I guess not really – August’s (predetermined) question of the month is

What Gives You Pause? In other words, What slows you down? What makes you stop and think?

A week ago I read something that really gave me pause. It was a note jotted during the Yoga Sutra study I attended while in India with my teacher last year. We were in the beginning of the first chapter, where Patanjali presents the five vrttis, the five ways the mind turns or revolves, and had covered the concept vrtti samskara chakra: the often never-ceasing cycle of thoughts to subtle impressions to thoughts. In this section Patanjali is helping the reader see that the mind has the option of turning – or spinning –  which is its habit, or it can slow the spinning and break that cycle, which takes practice, and focus.

My note read:

“The undisciplined mind is victim to the information brought to it by the senses.

It is in the habit of involving itself in everything it senses.” 

This was a specific, and somewhat jolting reminder that my summer sensory-gratification-seeking, a quest that chases sunny days, warm beaches, solar eclipses, party invitations, and cold kombucha – with the collective justification that I/we deserve it after that long long winter! – uses up my energy on an endless pursuit for a satisfaction that is always fleeting. Thus I avoid the truth that what I really seek is only deeply experienced from within.

Since reading that quote, throughout the day I have been considering this habit and redirecting my attention: turning toward my inner luminosity, and toward truly seeing the light in others. I am still swimming, and sunning (with sunscreen, natch), and sipping fizzy cold things, but I am not allowing these to monopolize my attention. I am remembering my dharma code and how certain desires can keep me from it.

So that, this week, is what gives me pause. What gives YOU pause?

If you are at a place where you’d like to learn to apply yoga philosophy more directly to your lived experience, consider two options this fall for deepening your studies:

1.  The Four Desires: The Yoga of Fulfillment is a weekend course with my teacher Rod Stryker (learn more on the 8 Limbs Blog)

2. The 8 Limbs Teacher Training involves studies of The Yoga Sutra, in addition to asana, anatomy, meditation, Ayurveda, and much more. Our Modular option begins October 12 and the Summer Intensive runs five weeks every summer (congrats to the grads finishing tomorrow!!!). Join me at an upcoming Info Session to learn more!

And hope to see some of you at one of my upcoming Chakra Awareness workshops at 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge and West Seattle.

Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer, 8 Limbs Founder & Studio Director

Neighborhood Studios