Abhyasa, uninterrupted practice, is the key to achieving a state of stable tranquility.
During these hazy weeks of August, it can be tempting to forego our yoga practice, to fall off the mat, as it were, promising a recommitment in September. Any why not? Couldn’t we all use a break? The sages would say, “Not so fast.” According to Patanjali, it is only by practicing without interruption that we gain access to the fruits of yoga – that is, to the union of Self with the totality of consciousness. This month we highlight abhyasa, translated variously as persistent effort, constant practice, discipline, or exertion over a long period of time.
Abhyasa is the key to achieving a state of stable tranquility, that sought-after feeling of deep connection and present awareness. Our practice may slip, but if our commitment is steady, we will keep returning to the mat. As we learn to clear away our own obstacles, dabbling turns into dedication. Little by little, we become established in the practice, peeling back the layers of illusion to reveal the perfect peace that underlies all.
Abhyasa reminds us to set goals that are achievable over the long term. Maybe it’s only three times a week that we practice. Maybe it’s every day. But whatever your level of commitment, let August be the month you keep coming back.