Patanjali on

"What comes from long term practice of Yoga"

by

Ganesh B.

When one practices yoga in any of its forms (meditation, pranayama, asanas etc.) for a long time and the practice becomes firmly rooted like that of brushing one's teeth, then certain subtle body traits become revealed, says Patanjali in the third chapter, Vibhuti Pada, of the Yoga Sutras. Most of what Patanjali describes in this chapter, like acquiring the strength of an elephant etc. are out of reach of most common people simply because we have not reached the deep states of meditation, that Patanjali talks about, which is needed to harness our life force, Prana, for specific tasks. Nevertheless, toward the end of the third chapter, Patanjali describes a few aspects that many regular long term yoga practitioners can relate to. These are described in Sutra 3.37.

YS 3.37) From this regular practice of yoga the following are born

Praatibha : Spontaneous divine intuition

Shraavana: (Clair)Audience

Vedana: Refined sense of the mind

Aadarsha : extraordinary sight / clairvoyance

Aasvadha: refined taste

Vaartha: refined smell


Most of us tend to live in our heads, which my meditation teacher described as the control tower, and not in our bodies. However, the analytical mind, while critical to our survival, can sometimes weave stories and disrupt our judgement. That is why it is important to feel situations with our bodies because, as S.N. Goenka of the Vipasana meditation tradition, says in this video, our minds can lie but our bodies do not. This is what yoga practice teaches us - to be embodied. By learning to do subtle movements with our bodies, feel the movement of prana and the ensuing lightness (Angha Laghavam- lightness of the body parts), our bodies become trained to observe the subtle sensations.

So next time you walk away from a situation that did not feel correct but was rationally perfect, think about your yoga practice and trust your intuition.