Sharath Jois on the Key Ingredients
for Experiencing Yoga
After wrapping his 2017 US tour,
Sharath Jois tells us where to find the proper ingredients for a true yoga practice.
（他参加了YOGA & SCIENCE的研讨会）
When pizza was very new to India, some companies wanted to market themselves to get business, so they created a newpizza called “Gobi Manchurian Pizza.” We were very interested, so we ordered one to our house. It was a regular pizza with pieces of Gobi Manchurian, a Chinese dish, on top. Many people bought it. It was new and different and tasty, but it wasn’t healthy. Similarly, this is how yoga has become: Tasty and attractive, but not healthy.
Today, there are so many styles of yoga. People put their surname in front of the word yoga and invent a new style. They hope to get many followers. They create so many videos, but it’s like junk food. It’s tasty, it looks good, but it’s not healthy. People look at these styles as yoga, they try them, and think they are doing yoga, but they are not.
Ashtanga yoga is not a style of yoga. It is a method to explore something far more than handstands. Many people see handstand and leg-behind-the-head and think that is what Ashtanga yoga is. ButAshtanga yoga is a method to experience what yoga is, to understand who we are,how to be more responsible, how to live in this world as better people. Ashtanga yoga is a method.
I’ve said this many times, but students need to be reminded of the fundamentals of Ashtanga yoga: the yamas andniyamas. They are the key ingredients to establishing and practicing yoga. It’s like making a dish from a recipe: You need these ingredients or else it won’t work, and you won’t be doing yoga.
The Ashtanga method has eight limbs. The first four are the external pillars: yama, niyama, asana, and pranayama. Yama has sublimbs, which are ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya, aparigraha. The niyama sublimbs are saucha, santosha, tapas, svadhyaya, Ishvara pranidhana.These are all very important ingredients essential for our spiritual journey.If you want to get deeper in your practice, these ingredients are indispensable. Without these ingredients, you will never understand yoga. You will live your entire life missing out and thinking yoga is what flexible people do in photographs and videos like leg-behind-the-head and handstands. It’s attractive, it makes for a nice photo, but it is not yoga.
阿斯汤加的练习有八支。前面四支是外在的练习: 持戒，精进，体式和呼吸控制法。其中，持戒有五个分支:不伤害，不说谎，不偷盗，不纵欲和不贪婪。精进也有五个分支: 洁净，知足，纪律，读圣贤书，以及敬神。这些都是我们踏上灵性成长之路非常重要的基础。如果你想练习更有深度，这两支都是不可缺失的。如果你不练习这两支，那你将永远无法真正的明白瑜伽是什么，且此生都与瑜伽的真谛无缘，你会一直以为瑜伽就是那些在照片和视频里身体很软的人练的东西，比如脚缠头和手倒立。他们看上去很炫，照片很美，但那不是瑜伽。
The remaining four limbs—pratyahara,dharana, dhyana, and samadhi—are internal practices. Once the first four limbs are established, the other four will automatically happen. You don’t have to try, they will automatically happen. Of course, these are higher, more subtlelevels of yoga. To achieve these, you have to get rid of many patterns, attachments, dispositions, many things.
This will be a life-long practice and thereal transformation happens once one is educated in all the limbs. Without understanding yoga through proper education, it is impossible to understand what yoga is. Yet what is meant by education here is the practice, putting theory into practice,not necessarily a formal education.
My grandfather, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, used to always say “99% practice, 1% theory,” but oftentimes, people got this wrong.They practiced asana from morning until evening. What he meant was to practice the theory, the yamas and niyamas, all the time. To do this, you don’t sit around and read about it in books, you have to live it. Can you expect to calm the mind by reading citta vritti nirodha (the second sutra of the Yoga Sutras)?Simply reading it, even a thousand times, won’t make it happen, and it will probably do just the opposite. Yoga theory must be put into practice all the time. Only when you apply all the things in your daily life will citta vritti nirodha happen.
我的外公，Sri K. Pattabhi Jois， 曾经总说 “百分之九十九的练习，百分之一的理论。”很多时候，大家都没有正确理解这句话，他们就一味的从早到晚的练习体式。其实，我外公这里说的练习不是指体式，而是指瑜伽哲学，应该是从早到晚练习持戒和精进。然而这些不是你坐着看书就能学会的，是要去实践它。你觉得光靠读citta vritti nirodha(瑜伽经的第二句经文）就可以约束心灵的变化吗？即使读了千万遍，只要不去实践它，就无法做到它，有时候还可能适得其反。瑜伽哲学必须从始至终贯穿于练习之中，只有当你把瑜伽哲学融入到日常生活中，citta vritti nirodha才会发生。
For us, however, what is important is to be calm everyday, to have a peaceful life everyday. This is what we are focusing on. Someone can be very famous one day and then the next fall out of favor.Asana will come and go, money will come and go, fame will come and go. What we have to do is keep ourselves calm, steady and stable. This is what asana gives us.
How many of you can sit still in one place for long periods of time having control of your mind? To bring the vrittis, orthe fluctuations of the mind under control you must have stability found in apractice. This is the method to gain equanimity. Samatvam yoga uchyate. Samtvamis calmness, balance, equanimity. This is what yoga is. It is a life long practice of key ingredients for the entirety of your life. The proper fundamentals will help the stability grow, and thus, the yoga to happen. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you. We are not different. It takes a firm, positive outlook. Yoga can happen to anyone when we put in the proper ingredients.
有多少人可以很长时间的坐在一个地方，控制着自己的心智？你必须要在练习之中有稳定的根基，才能控制心智的波动。这就是获得平静的方式。Samatvam yoga uchyate. Samatvam 是安宁，平衡，平静。这就是瑜伽的目标。瑜伽是生命中很重要的一部分，需要用一生去练习。建立良好的基础有助于根基稳定性的提高，这样，真正的瑜伽才有可能发生。如果在我身上能发生，那在你身上也有可能发生，我们是一样的。你要坚定的相信他最终会发生在你身上。瑜伽可以发生在任何人的身上，只要我们用对了方式。
By R. Sharath Jois
Published on May 31, 2017
Spiritual- Oneness- Harmony- Awareness- Meditation
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