Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

Yoga Sutras for Modern Life: Live A Life You Love

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2:36-When you are established in truth, your actions and their results are imbibed with truthfulness.


Defining the Sutra

Through being truthful, we build a life that is authentic and reflects who we are within.

Modern Day Application

I am sure you have heard the saying, “youth is wasted on the young.” The older I get the more I realize that I spent a good part of my life living someone else’s truth. I was living according to how society dictated. I was having the experiences that were expected of me.  I somehow had this idea that If I played, “the game”, I would eventually get to the point where I could do what I wanted to do.

That is not the case.

What really happened is that I woke up and realized that my whole life was structured around stuff that I didn’t really care for or even believe in.  I love writing, teaching,  philosophy and literature. However, I went to school for business because I felt that is how I could make money and that money can fund my other endeavors.  I made good money.  As I continued to make that money, the cost of my lifestyle increased with my paychecks. As my monthly financial obligations increased, my need to work increased which left no time for writing, teaching, philosophy and literature. It also left me in a place that, if I stopped working and switched gears, I would still have contractual financial obligations that I could not easily unload or walk away from. By not living my truth from the beginning and really doing what I loved, I moved further away from what my heart desired. Even though I eventually switched gears, I am still paying for those years…literally paying.

When you build on truth, you get truth.  One of my friends, who also loves literature and teaching, actually went to school for that. She currently makes 6 figures working for Discovery Communications, who owns Discovery Channel and is in partnership with Own Network. She sees Oprah Winfrey all the time.  She started as a school teacher making very little money and kept her eyes open for out of the box opportunities in education that led her to Discovery. She has money AND she does what she loves.

I know so many Yoga teachers that teach methods of Yoga that they don’t believe in and open studios that teach Yoga they don’t want to practice. They do it with the premise that they will eventually be able to teach and offer what they really love. This rarely works. The students get used to the style and, if they stop offering, are even willing to practice with another teacher or at another studio to get it. At best the students dabble in the style the teacher actually likes and it never really sticks. Every teacher I know, that eventually made a change, had to walk away and pretty much start over or they travel to teach what they love.

When we live according to truth, our lives unfold in truth. We get want we want in our lives.  If you put a cake in the oven, 40 minutes later, you will not pull out chicken.  If you you want to create art, 8 hours after working as a customer service rep, you will create customer service.  If you want love in your life, and you spread hate, you are going to get hate back.

Some commentators, of the Yoga Sutras, say that when you are truthful, you get want you want without even having to perform the deeds themselves. It is even said that a truthful person can also obtain things for others as well without working for it. Like attracts like. Eventually the momentum of our deeds and our energy, which we hold consistent in our hearts, keeps rolling us in the direction that we want. This energy is strong enough to influence everyone around us.


Why This is Important

If you want truth in life, you have to live in truth. If you want love in your life, you have to live in love. Eventually this energy gets so powerful, that its momentum not only supports you but those around you.



Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail shanna@shannasmallyoga.com.