Alignment Adjustment 2
“Future Pain Can Be Avoided”
2:16 Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
Hello, Welcome back to the “How I Aligned My Flow” series! Thank you for reading these. I hope that they can support and serve you in whatever you are practicing with in your life!
The second “Alignment Adjustment” I want to talk about comes from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, one of the basic handbooks of philosophy for yoga practitioners. The Yoga Sutras have 196 verses on the practice of yoga and only 2 or 3 of them actually mention taking a posture. The rest are about the mind.
One of my favorites says, “Pain that has not yet come is avoidable.” Wow. This may seem really obvious, but when we commit to the practice of yoga (not just asana, but also asana), we start to slow down. When we actually take the time to live in each moment we start to see things that we were traveling too quickly to observe before. When we pause and experience the moment we are in, we might feel sadness, anger, frustration, boredom, anxiety, things we generally don’t love to just sit in. The beauty of noticing all of this, is that whatever we are experiencing in this moment has come from a decision, response, or action that we have taken previously. If we are not happy with where we are, we can take steps to get honest with ourselves, speak our truth, and begin to take steps that are more in alignment with how we truly want to live and what we want to create with our lives.
Sometimes a little space and awareness is all it takes to stop and not say or do something that we have to spend the next few weeks and months undoing. Some heated reactions might create a lifetime worth of separation, guilt, or regret.
“Future pain can be avoided,” is also extremely helpful in asana practice. Sometimes you really want to get into the deep beautiful postures that you see someone else practicing. Instead of coming from where you are in the moment (say, your second yoga class ever and herniated disks) , you may force yourself into variations that you aren’t quite ready for and get hurt. Taking time to use props and modify to find and stay in anatomical alignment is great for helping keep us all to avoid future knee, shoulder, and back pain!
Slowing down to experience the way things feel physically, mentally, and emotionally offers the gift of lifelong growth in a direction that we truly want to go in. Once we start to surrender, we come into greater alignment with the Divine and our lives open up in ways we never could have imagined.