Abhyasa (pronounced ah-bee-YAH-sah)
The practice of fixing oneself in a given attitude of aligning with our soul and heart. To be able to become more of what we need to be to have the most fulfilling life possible. Patañjali wrote Sutra 1:12 “Both practice (abhyāsa) and non-reaction (vairāgya) are required to still the patterning of consciousness.” And also, Sutra 1:13 “Practice is the sustained effort to rest in that stillness.”
There must be an equal measure of both Abhyasa (to sit, a verb, without disturbances, discouragement or distractions to find self understanding, to be intensely present) and Viaragya (to be detached, dispassionate or growing pale)
Often mentioned, like the wings of a bird, he cannot fly without both wings. If the bird has a broken wing, it does not make him less of a bird. He will always be a bird but his ability to thrive depends on both wings being available and of good use. Just as we need to have both abhyasa and vairagya to find our center, our true peace of self. The ability to understand oneself and also having and understanding of what we need to let go of from the worldly attachments that we cling to so heavily.
The ability to sit still for me happened in the yoga practice on the mat. Yes, it took me a while before I actually “got this” to translate into real life but when it started happening it was the most amazing thing I had ever experienced. Coming from a background of constantly doing, it was hard for me to grasp the “doing” that happens on the mat. There is more work done there than anyone can complete in a full day of running around, doing… The first time it happened, I was at a crossroad, my father had called, again, and this was it… she was going and I needed to come home, again. I had just spent $600 on a continuing education weekend course at a local yoga studio and this was the first thing that I had committed to doing for myself in three years. The purpose was so I would feel comfortable teaching again. Opportunities had started coming for me to teach and it just felt like I needed a little refresher course.
When he called, I already had my bags packed, at that time I always had a bag packed, always ready to go, to do for them, as much as I could but in that moment I told him, dad I have to pray right now. This happened at 7:35 am on a Saturday morning. I was due at class at 8 am. I hit my knees in prayer, a tired girl, a girl that had heard this twenty plus times in the last two months, I asked God what to do, and what popped into my mind was be still and know. I got into my car instead of going home I headed to the studio and 5 minutes before I got there my dad called and said that everything was regulated and would be fine, go to class. A gift from both Fathers I will never forget. That weekend I was still in the practice of yoga, I let go of losing my mother, I let got of any fears I had and I focused on the practice. I became still.
This stillness held me for the upcoming months of terror of fear, moments I could not feel God and moments of losing her. She was vicious and mean to daddy and I but we kept our kindness. We loved her at all cost and it hurt so bad but my teacher had said that when people loose the ability to breathe naturally it effects their hearts, their reactions, I told daddy this and he squeezed my hand, a man I was unsure of all my life, loved her in her longest days. The longest days of losing the woman we both loved more than anything, the woman that makes me distant and unsure of love, but grounded my feet so deep in God. I wish so much I could talk with her now about when her mother was dying. I Vaguely remember this as I was fifteen or so. The heartache she had, the fear she had. I wonder if it was as great as mine.
To let go, the other wing that we all must possess in order to be complete in order to be our best selves. The things we have to conquer in order to let go of what is holding us back. The ability to acknowledge our fears, regrets and our inabilities, whatever they may be. This is the hard work. We become so attached to what makes us feel good in the moment. We hardly ever want to do without these things or people. The release comes with an ability to not be effective by what is thrown our way. To be able to accept challenges even when our hearts are burdened.
Much Love 💜 Much Life