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Yoga Sutra: intuitive alchemy

yoga Jun 04, 2022
Bhakti Rose - Yoga Sutra Intuitive Alchemy

For many years now I’ve been writing and contemplating translations of the Yoga Sutras. I am not a Sanskrit scholar and the way I’ve studied is by comparing many different versions and interpretations.  I’ve spent hours reading and re-reading commentaries.  What I notice is that the Yoga Sutras are most often seen through the lens of the Eight Limbs (pathway to yoga) and specifically the Yamas and Niyamas (ethical controls). Whilst this information is super helpful in creating a conscious spiritual practice (sadhana) and curating a life of purpose and contentment it misses some of the more esoteric magic the Sutras have to offer.

For me the two elements most absent in the teachings of the Yoga Sutras I’ve come across are:

🔥 Bhakti, the path of devotion. This is because Patanjali doesn’t mention the Divine / Source much in the Sutras.  But the Bhakti is there if we look for it. Through the path of love and devotion we can open up some of the mystery in this text grounded in a foundation of heart-centred connection.

🔥 The feminine form teachings. Often the way the Sutras is taught is very linear and in the ‘mind’ / masculine mode.  I have seen this to be at the cost of the more esoteric and non-linear aspects of this great scripture.  For example in the third chapter Patanjali outlines in detail the enormous power and importance of our intuitive sense.  He also explains the potency our dreams can have in helping us develop our spiritual practice. He reminds us that time is not always linear and that we can play with it to accelerate our growth or slow down our impatience.

Let me give you an example.  In chapter three of the Yoga Sutras Patanjali describes the ‘siddhi’ or ‘super power’ of being able to understand the past and the future.   How on earth do we interpret this? I think it has something to do with self-insight and trust of our intuitive internal ‘knowing’.  Through diving into the Sutras in this way we can start to trust our own intuition and understand our capacity to work through karma, over-come obstacles (such as mental health challenges, relationship challenges, health challenges) on a really deep and foundational level.  This goes way beyond therapy or self-help and into the core of who we are as human beings and how we can heal and find ease within the craziness of the human experience.

Here are some of the other ways we can interpret the Yoga Sutras through the feminine form: 

🌸 See your thoughts as forms.  Think of them as 'subtle forms'.  For example 'I am experiencing jealousy' is more gentle than 'I am jealous' and allows more space for transformation.

🌸 You take on the form and colour of what is close to you, the in same way a crystal reflects the light of a room.  Choose what form and colour to take on. 

🌸 The mind is transient in existence.  The body is a crystalised version of the mind's thought forms. 

'Consider then when we have outgrown our old skin, we can shed the layers that no longer serve us. Certain habits, attachments reach an expiration date, giving us an opportunity to be renewed allowing new opportunities of embracing the new and allowing the positive feelings and emotions to flow naturally through our body, guiding our intuition.'

Yoga Sutra of Patanjali Chapter 2, Sutra 9

I am running a six-week live online course on the Yoga Sutras in the feminine form starting July 31st 2022.  Please join us!  Details are here 



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