Just BE !


This will be my last post on this lovely Yoga Sutra II.27. Though we are only really getting through the “5th stage of wisdom” according to Patanjali, the next two stages are more “by-products” of the previous levels and realizations. And frankly, if we can get to some semblance of stage 5, I think we are doing pretty well.

“By yoga, the practitioner conquers body, controls energy, restrains movements of the mind and develops sound judgement, from which he/she acts rightly and becomes luminous.” BKS Iyengar in Light on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

As we have been forced to separate ourselves from a lot of the outer world, we are given an opportune time to look more closely at our Self. Given space to ask “who are we and what is our actual place in the world?”. At first this is not going to seem like a positive. We are made to face the things we crave and cannot have or do, and experience the negative feelings of being deprived of a lot of our usual life. We are in a very real sense forced to put focus on our life in a smaller view, concentrate our energies closer to home and on our own space, and amongst all of this upheaval try to find some mental stability.

Literally making the decision to turn inward in a positive way instead of a negative way goes a long way toward these stages of wisdom. All of this inward focus begins to fray the attachments to the outer world and allows us to find a simpler and less distracting way of life. This can actually bring more peace and freedom if we allow it – giving up a bit of our control and thoughts about how things “should be” and seeing the time and space and moment right in front of us. Nature in the form of this virus literally is serving its purpose to make us understand more about our Self.

“Sattva prevails when the ego subsides. It is illumination, clarity, joy, and peace.” translation by Reverend Jaganath Carrera

Sattva is the energy of balance and luminosity. It is a pure and undisturbed state of BEING. Once this sattvic state has been achieved through our efforts in yoga, we may experience the last two stages of wisdom – absorption in both our own pure consciousness and ultimately our soul.

Though this may not be a permanent state for most of us in life today, I do believe that dips into this state are possible. And even short dips into that powerful state of BEING go a long way to sustain us through hardship.

I will leave you with the final translations from BKS Iyengar on these last stages. I think they are worth some contemplation:

  • 5th : “the aim to be reached is reached”, “non-attachment”, “knowledge from experience”, “integration of intellect”
  • 6th : “untainted intelligence”, “absorption of the flavors of life”, “integration of consciousness”
  • 7th : “sefl-illumined consciousness”, “experience of a state beyond words”, “knowledge of the Self”, “integration of the soul”


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Jennie Williford CIYT

Jennie Williford (CIYT Level 3) is a transplant to LaCrosse via Montana, Illinois, and originally Texas. Throughout her life moves and 5 trips to India, Jennie has acquired a well-rounded and multi-faceted approach to Iyengar Yoga since her start in 1998. Jennie loves the experimental and explorative nature of yoga in accessing deeper knowledge of the Self on every level. The practice of yoga can be intense and introspective, however as practitioners we can be light-hearted and open-minded in our discipline. Jennie is intrigued by the philosophy of yoga and hopes to share this depth of subject while teaching the physical and mental benefits that come from the practice of posture.