July 29, 2016
Spiritual traditions are guarded by their texts. Over time, as lineages develop and traditions transmute, the written word stays constant. Texts live and breathe through the translations and interpretations of practitioners, and from those interpretations emerge new bodies of work that are lauded alongside the ancient texts that precede them. Yoga teachers, who seek to explicate and bring the tradition alive for their students, often call upon texts and words for inspiration. Indeed studying text is an essential element of the yoga practice in itself, and the interpolation and discussion around these words is itself a new, breathing body of work. We asked some of our favorite teachers about the verses from yoga scripture that they revisit time and again.
“The best of yogis, being free from fatigue in practicing asana and bandhas, should practice nadi shodhana, mudras, and pranayama.” —Hatha Yoga Pradipika, chapter 1, verse 55
To me, this says it all. Don’t exhaust yourself with the physical practice. Use just the right amount of effort. Save time for the deeper practices like breathwork and concentration. With the growing popularity of yoga, this is something practitioners (and teachers) need to hear.