Teaching Ashtanga,  Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

Yoga Sutras For Modern Life: Ready to tell Yoga Goodbye?

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2:27- The experiancer gains the knowledge in seven stages, advancing towards the highest.

Defining the Sutra

Once the yogi has the ability to discriminate, they gain knowledge in seven stages listed below:

The mind is no longer drawn to thought patterns that cause suffering


The Kleshas go away. The Yogi no longer identifies with the ego, has attachments or aversions and is not afraid of death.


The Yogi no longer needs to search for knowledge. They can find it in stillness.


The Yogi acts purely for the sake of acting. He does not act by compulsion and is not looking to get anything from it.


The mind is only used when necessary.


The Yogi ceases to act on conditioning forever. The are always present.


They are unified with the Self, the soul, the Atman


Modern Day Application

The seven stages show us just how far we have to go on the path of yoga.  For example, the first of the seven stages is no longer being drawn to though patterns that cause suffering. Can you do that? Do you know of anyone who can? I definitely cannot. When you start thinking you may be enlightened, read this chart! LOL

Why It is Important

When you start to feel you don’t need Yoga anymore, read this chart!  

Are you still having thoughts that make you suffer, feel pain, stress,  sadness or anger?

Are you afraid of death?

Are you still trying to build a “brand” or trying to hold up a role or  image?

Are  you still on a search for spiritual knowledge?

Seeking out teachers?

Are there things in life that you are afraid to face?

Are you willing to let go of everything in your life?

Do you form relationships for benefits or because you need something from someone?

Do you do things to get a reaction or to get things from people?

Do you conform to societal rolls?

Do you act compulsively or feel like you don’t have control over certain areas in your life?

If you say yes to any of these, you still need Yoga.

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.