Ashtanga Yoga And Becoming Super Efficient

Anyone who submits him or herself to 1.5 to 2 hours of the rigorous routine of any of the series of Ashtanga knows a thing or two about efficiency.  It comes with the territory.  It is very practical.

Not only do habits change, but also our own awareness of how far reaching our energy is. As we save energy we have more of it available for important pursues, like that of finding what is real and what is not.

The Yoga Sutras advise we work towards a more peaceful mind and environment, we become happy for those who are successful, friendly towards the good people in our lives, compassionate for those who suffer and indifferent towards the wicked [1.33].

A path to mental peace must be forged first

Becoming indifferent towards the wicked is another way of saying that we need to learn how to deal with crappy people, or,  those people in our lives who steal our energy and good disposition, that is of course, if we let them.

Not long ago James and I sat down to answer a burst of questions that came up for him at his blog when he brought up the subject of Patanjali’s sutra 1.33. The questions asked how to deal with specific situations, where energy-stealing-people may pop into our lives, here is the Q&A.

The most interesting question I have seen most people ask at James’ talks, even after reading the Q&A is: What if the crappy person is your boss, co-worker, mom, dad, brother, cousin? You know? Someone close.  The answer is that it is always one of these people, for it is those closest to you that probably know very well where your “dormant seeds of psychosis,” “samskaras”, or “buttons” are. And they push them alright.  Unless trained that doing so yields no results.  See the post for more.

Warning, saying that may result in even more
button pushing. Indifference works better
Panajali knew his stuff!

[If you cannot see pictures go to]

The tightening of the anus (engaging mula bandha) in every practice has deep repercussions as we go throughout our business during the day.

We notice that perhaps it is not so important to fight with that co-worker, that it is OK to let him or her think they are right, at least in this or that occasion, we pick our battles, sharpen our intuition and dedicate our time and precious energy only on that which is of value.

And so we fight less and focus more. We get more done.  For example it is impressive to me that these days all I have to do is put in writing what I need to do.  Then the list gets done. No matter how full the day, how little time.

Intending and detaching gets things done!  One way in which this was proven to me was when at the end of 2010 (and knowing well by now that new year resolutions do not work)  I set the intention to go deeper into the Yoga Sutras, and alas! It happened in 2011, in spite of many odds being against me.

I trust now that intentions when released, combined with energy used in a focused way will bring fruits.  Then is just a matter of being present and open to opportunities as they arise.

It is the message of the Gita as I understand it now: First INTEND for things that benefit the overall well being of all, and Patanjali knows me being in a good mood -applying the knowledge from the Yoga Sutras- benefits at least those close to me, then DETACH from the results, be present and trust that the opportunities will arise, take advantage of them when they do!

Maybe nowhere is this energy saving more important than in the sexual area.  Sex is the most important energy for our species as it carries with it the promise of reproduction and evolution, but with so many distractions like, for example, shows putting an emphasis on the thrill of cheating (Mad Men, Episodes, Californication et all), we may have run a bit off course.  The thrill of sex sometimes compensates for emptiness inside. The rush of the adventure accounting for countless relationships ruined.  Perhaps relationships that were not right to begin with, granted.  It is an area that needs exploring.

Reading Pattabhi Jois’ Yoga Mala recently I was reminded of how the lineage of Ashtanga thinks of Bramacharya (one of the five observances on the first limb of yoga), or efficient use of sexual energy.  He, just like Krishnamacharya observed and respected married life.  And it is in this, in finding a relationship if we so desire, that is real and committing to it that we save this powerful energy.  Or, if single, by using it intelligently and not dispersing it around.

By the strength gained through the practice, we can come to know a method for bringing the mind and sense organs under control” says Pattabji Jois in Yoga Mala.

We gain strength by using energy in a controlled, focused way indeed. And for the lesson in efficiency I am grateful.


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8 Responses to Ashtanga Yoga And Becoming Super Efficient

  1. Suzanne December 28, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Thank you for this post!

  2. Claudia December 28, 2011 at 10:00 am #


  3. lilasvb December 28, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    i start to practise today again in mysore mandala, it was so good to go back to yoga, i enjoy also to read you

  4. ogfomk December 28, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    I heard that your mother can push your buttons because she installed them.

  5. Stephanie December 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi Claudia, Another great post. Thanks. Leads our thoughts in a good direction. Are you familiar with the following quote? A teacher I have reads it often after class. It speaks to your guide on &quot;intention.&quot; It gets me every time.<br /><br />Watch your thoughts, they become words.<br />Watch your words, they become actions.<br />Watch your actions, they become habits.<br />Watch your

  6. Claudia December 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Great news Lilasvb! who with? I heard that there was a change in teachers there, wonder who is the teacher, but maybe you will blog? liked the cow pictures today 🙂 very &quot;arrival&quot; like<br /><br />OGFOMK that is a GOOD one!<br /><br />I am familiar with that, love it Stephanie, isn&#39;t it from the Upanishads? one of them anyways… i always have to read it twice when i see it…

  7. Lanzadawindsurf January 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Thankyou for your blog. <br />It,s nice to read all this interesting things about the practice.

  8. Claudia January 4, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Gracias lanzadawindsurf