Patanjali Yoga Sutra 3.6

/Patanjali Yoga Sutra 3.6

Patanjali Yoga Sutra 3.6

Patanjali Yoga Sutra 3.6


The application of Samyama occurs in sequential stages.

Our Yoga comes in stages. The beginning of yoga is becoming confident in your body so you can be confident for sitting in meditation. Then learning not to be affected by your thoughts and emotions. That may take years. When we relax and go deeper we can luxuriate in our natural state.

Different stages of meditation
Just to sit still and be comfortable in your body and to let thoughts and emotions settle is very beneficial to the body and mind.  different for different people depending on the level of stress people hold on to from their lives.  once negative stress has been minimized then the mediator can go to a deeper stage of relaxation and attention can withdraw from thoughts, emotions, memories, external sounds, and distractions, feelings etc.  sometimes people get at a certain stage during a meditation practice that becomes a challenge and they give up. Maybe in yoga practice as well.
at deeper stages one can contemplate the chosen object or ideal with exclusion from everything else and have complete absorption and develop the ability to maintain the state of Samadhi.
unless you were born a natural mediator this can take years and years to develop.  The only way to go through this process is a consistent, attentive and interested practice. Otherwise your just going through the motions. Just because it may be difficult at first is no reason to avoid practice until mastery is realized.  like dip and dye something stays.  seeking becomes the goal.
In meditation the stage you are at may be just letting go of the day. It has to happen. This stage has to happen. And how long this stage lasts depends on how much stress you hold on to. You just dip in a little more each day and with time you go deeper and get those flashes. Its not something we can make happen. It takes consistent practice. Or you can just do nothing and bob on the surface thinking you are getting somewhere or realizing your Self which is always there. It’s just down in the ocean a little bit. Just get under the crust which may take a little while. Then you can luxuriate in the depths. Like Yoga, there’s crust in the body and over time we luxuriate in the poses.  We are all at the core of our being full awake and realized. The difference between an accomplished yogi, and one who is not, is the degree of realization of this truth.  However long this takes to do this shouldn’t be an issue patience becomes a natural virtue.

Offer that patience into your practice today.

Short Meditation after Invocation
When we follow our thoughts its like moving horizontally along the surface of the ocean and forgetting the depth of the ocean. Yoga is the verticle life to the depth of our being. The depth of our being is way deeper than the horizontal will ever be. The breath is verticle. As you sit, you follow your breath on the vertical line at the core and you have that path to luxuriate in. The depth comes in stages. You go deep and get a flash of truth, wisdom, knowledge. Those flashes will change you life.

Sutra Meaning
The application of Samyama occurs in sequential stages. We know from the past few weeks that a Samyama is when we have focus, meditation, and blissful absorption in an object or chosen ideal. When we have all three of those at once, the full knowledge of the object or chosen ideal is known.

Tasya = its, of that
bhumisu = to the planes, states, stages
viniyogah = application, practice

The stages get finer and finer. The inner journey itself reveals the subtler aspects.

Chant Sutra

Short Meditation after Chanting the Sutra
There are different levels of Yoga and meditation and they occur in stages. A beginner meditator won’t get the flashes. But you stay doing it no matter what. Like Yoga we do it. Even with an injury there is something to do. Yoga one time per week won’t give you the experiences you would have if you do it every day. With meditation you sit, you stay at it. You need an intention with meaning to love to do it. Its that seeking self-realization that is the goal. Self-Realization is the awareness that our natural state is blissful absorption in the whole. People think it will take a long time to be Self-Realized. It’s not about time. If you do yoga and if you meditate regularly you will develop patience. Things don’t go the way we think it will or want it to go and we’re still patient and we go to another level of yoga. We live from a deeper awareness.

Asana Practice
In each pose go deeper and rest in the vibration of the highest self. Surrender into the inner ground of Being, of equipoise, of beauty of the Self. There is a natural reverence to our breath when we go deeper.

Cat/cow- be in the flow of your breath in a very ease filled way

cat /cow down dog- bent knees, heels lifted, cat cow 5x

6 Surya Namaskar with:

2 Regular Surya Namaskar

1 with anjaneyasana to reverse prayer

1 with crescent to reverse prayer

1 with 1/2 moon to crescent to Virabhadrasana 2 to Peaceful Warrior with Mermaid arms

1 other side with 1/2 moon to creascent to Vira 2 to Peaceful Warrior with Mermaid arms

Childs pose-reading

all 4’s right leg out to right onto the inner edge of the foot. pull the inner edge of the foot, draw the outer edge the top part up toward the knee. then reach your hands out to down dog hands and place your 3rd eye point on the floor if you can. its a form of gate pose. arms extend alongside the ears. take the sitting bones back the inner groins back and stretch as long as you can.

Other side- left leg out wide come on to the inner edge of the foot, pull the inner edge of the foot in, spin the inner thighs and sitting bones back and wide, draw the low back in and walk way forward to the earth, bow the 3rd eye to earth. breathe. so it starts opening up the inner thighs from the power of the adductors to center, opening up the hips, low back and the hamstrings too.

all 4’s- side twist, thread the left arm under, press the back of your left hand down and come onto the right fingertips and press them down, bend the right elbow, draw the outer right hip way back, get both shoulder blades on the back, anchor the right shoulder back, maybe reach the right hand up and around the low back to hold the inner left thigh. reach up through the chin and press back through the right side of the skull, breathe and feel the spaciousness all the way down to the pelvic floor , through the low belly, up through the diapghragm, lungs and the low ribs.

all 4’s- thread the other arm under, on front fingertips, if possible stretch the left arm up and around. be very spacious in the breath, the breath sweeps around energetically into the pelvic floor, widening the base, opening through the belly, up through the diaphragm, lungs and low ribs.

down dog to right leg forward lunge

Hinged Prassaritta Padotanasana- turn toes in slightly, and bend your knees about a 1/2 inch. rock back into your heels so much that you feel you are going to fall back but counter that by reaching your fingertips way out front. Rock back so much that you can lift the whole right foot up except for the heel. put that down and lift the whole left foot up except for the heel. then both feet, lift up except for the heels. go back back back onto the heels. it’s calling into action the posterior chain of muscles. then reach way up high onto the fingertips, anchor the inner thighs back, draw the low back in breathe the base of the belly back, extend the spine and breathe deep.

Now come into the normal form of the pose, reach wide and hold the big toes, inhale look up, lengthen the spine and draw the shoulderblades onto the back of the heart. Part of the inner stillness is resting into the root of the heart. The root of the heart in the subltle anatomy of the yogi is a very powerful energetic center for the yogi. it is located at the backside of the sternum and at the mid thoracic of the spine. It is the hridyaya that means the essence of anything and everything, the midline within, the power of the hearts pace itself to be committed to loving awareness in every single circumstance of our life.

come up 1/2 way on your fingertips, turn your right foot out and your left foot slightly in, keep your right knee over the 2nd toe, reach the arms out and forward on your fingertips. keep pressing the right knee out. this is a variation of Parsvakonasana. that’s form 1. Form 2 plant your palms down, bend your elbows and lower the crown or 3rd eye towards the floor. activate the shoulder blades on the back and go more deeply within.

keep surrendering into the inner essence of self, that high vibration of the innermost self which is also the most anchored, rooted, grounded Presence of Self.

Other side-go way up high on the fingertips, pull the feet magnetically to center, bow in, lengthen and brighten through the spine, slow deep breathing, a conscious surrender to the innermost Presence of Self. One definition of meditation, dhyana, is to abide in the inner Presence of Self. come to the second form, walk the hands in towards the feet, bend the elbows apart, put a little more power into the back of the heart and lower the head towards the ground. slow deep breathing, I surrender into the depth of my Being.

Skandasana Form- reach for the ankles, Skanda is the God of War so to speak but is the one who stays very, very deep within to know how to act in a noble and respectable way. Turn both feet out a little bit. bend the right knee and come in low as you keep the left leg straight. then bend the left knee and go side to side. bend one elbow and one knee and straighten the other leg out. stay low to the earth. flow with your breath.

Stay present within and last one, come all the way over to the right, spin the left toes up and walk way out on your fingertips. 1/2 Malasana pull the left heel down, move the sitting bones apart, spine long. Phase 2 press the right arm and right inner leg towards each other. arms in cactus pose. Breathe. Phase 3 if you like is to wrap around and to bind. Anyone of those is fine, An easy variation is to come all the way down on your seat, walk your right foot out a little bit and take fingertip down dog arms forward. That’s a nice form too.

Release, stay low to the earth and go over to the other side. pull the right heel down and in, spread the toes, fingertip down dog forward, part 1. For an easier version you can come onto your seat here. take the left foot out in front of you and pull the heel down and the rest of the foot up. right leg is straight. and take the variations from here. There’s always variations. Phase 2 is taking the left elbow to the inner left thigh, hands in cactus pose. Claw the hands, Tiger Paws, breathe, surrender to the inner Self. and Phase 3 if you like you can wrap and bind. let your gaze be soft and healing.

release and turn to the front and take down dog

stretch right leg straight and come to lunge, fingertips on the inside, cat/cow with your breath, inhale fold in exhale Lions breath to clear the path and roll the eyes up 4x

drop the back knee and come down to the elbows. lift your left foot up except for the heel and turn the foot and knee out to the left. then rock forward and back a little bit to open the hips. this engages the posterior chain of muscles which opens the hips and low back and keeps us safe.

Monkey twist pose- ground the whole left foot. you can stay down on the elbows or come up onto your hands. reach the right hand and hold your left foot. lay the right shoulder back, draw the outer right hip back, breathe into the back of the belly. draw the right foot into the sitting bones. feel free to go onto your elbows.

down dog, left foot forward other side cat cow lunge with Lions breath, tonghe out, clear the way, clear the clutter with the pranic broom of the breath that clears us out so we can rest in the easeful nature.

lower the back knee down turn the left foot out knee over 2nd toe, slide the back knee back, walk the belly over to the right then lower down onto the elbows and shimmy back and forth. how does this feel?

Monkey twist- either stay up on your left arm and twist to hold the left foot with the right hand. or stay on the left forearm and reach with the right arm. lay your bottom shoulder back, spread the toes, breathe into the back of the body, breathe into the belly back press the foot in closer and closer. release

down dog right leg forward lunge. step the back foot in a little toes out to the side, a version of Parsvottanasana. Pull the thighs in and back and take the outer right hip back. lift the front foot up except for the heel. reverse the hands flat on the floor or a block. fingertips to the backside. keep pulling the right heel down, lift the r side of the belly and draw the r hip back. lengthen out, come up half way, bring the hands to prayer behind the back of the heart, the root of stillness and fold long through your spine. slow deep breathing. release your hands to the floor,

down dog- Parsvottanasana other side

step forward uttanasana

Uttanasana to hasta padasana- put the palms on the floor fingers facing back under your feet. keep the power of the legs strong, hug the calf muscles in and straighten your legs as much as you can. look up and push down at the wrist creases. fold in. look up, come onto your fingertips. on each side of the ankle. keep the front foot lifted except for the heel. step the back foot in a little. rock back on the front left heel. take your hand and pull the left thigh in and take the left hip back. bow in and breathe. ground the front foot hands behind the heart to prayer. slow deep breathing and lengthen through your spine. release your fingertips down and go to down dog

down dog come to your knees and sit back onto your heels with your toes curled give an opening into the fascia on the bottom of the feet. take arms wide palms up and reach up, palms together and exhale to the heart. Surrender to the inner heart. take the 3 middle fingers apart to create a flowering of the heart in chalice like form, the opening of the heart energy from the connection to the depth of connection to the inner stillness and essence that we are.

Uttanasana, Tadasana

L pose hands on the wall one leg up then the other

a variation on Trikonasana- start with trikonasana on a block, lowering in stages. if you can reach the floor bend your back knee and lift your front foot except for the heel. reach over the top to your toes. take the bottom forearm inside and press the hand into the heel hugging the back of the calf with your forearm and elbow. stretch the elbows away from each other. this is a parivritta form to prepare us for other poses. 4th form is to slide the back foot back a little straighten the back leg

Trikonasana and then variation

samakonasana wide angle wider with forearms down heart forward then spin up onto the heels and come down how you can. hands behind you, close your eyes, breathe and brighten it up inside as you surrender deeper to the inner stillness even in the midst of your hamstrings trying crazy new things. Breathe deeply.

hold the knees, pull in and stretch legs straight.

Janu Sirsasana- knee wider than the hip, sit on blanket if low back rounds. come onto the fingertips to the far left corner inside the front knee. just like you tried to lean back in the beginning of class in prassarita pose try to lean as far back as you can while pressing down and forward with the fingertips to open the back. reach your right hand to your left knee and your left hand over to your right foot or shin or ankle. pull the back shoulder to the inside and that will be easier to reach the foot. next phase is taking both hands to the foot, bend right elbow down left elbow up and breathe into the innermost space of self. One of the names of the innermost self is Shiva, the ground of the self, the totality of everything, the inner essence of self that holds the space for the creative energy to rise and give shape to whatever it will.

Janu Sirsasana other side- check to see that the alignment supports the inner stillness. slow deep ocean breath spiral open and listen to the inner ocean of the heart. steep yourself in the inner stillness from the depths that is your very inner essence nature.

Pashimottanasana- put a stretch aroung your feet part 1. part 2 hold the toes and broaden the elbows and lengthen the spine and part3 is to wrap around the feet. inwardly drench yourself with stillness and Presence.

Navasana boat pose- phase 1 press the fingertips behind you and lift the legs bent knees then straigthen the legs if you can. phase 2- hold under the thighs and roll them in keep the knees bent or straighten them. phase 3 holde the toes and straighten the legs. energy uprising

Triangekapadapaschimottanasana- if it’s too much on your knee, stamp your right foot on the earth out to the right. then you can comeup onto the heel and work from there. left hand on the floor and reach with your right hand.

prepare for heron and cradle the left leg. if your right foot was in front just bring it in.

take a strap around the foot and push it out and up to the sky. press the elbows wide and think of a long necked heron. phase 2 is holding the foot and pressing up. phase 3 is surya yantra. pull the leg up and over the shoulder, lean back put your hand down take your right hand on top of the foot, lean back and straighten the leg as much as you can.

Legs out

Other side

Triangekapadapaschimottanasana and cradle to heron and sundial

Paschimottanasana fold in

Relax your inner thighs, relax your lower spine, Relax up through your ribs, up through the sternum, the heart, the throat, all the way up through the top of your head. Now that you’re horizontal feel like your sinking from the top of your body, through the middle to the bottom. So instead of staying on the surface, settle into the depths. You will settle in sequential stages. Keep letting go and settling. Settle into the depths. You can luxuriate in the part of you that’s expanded and free and always there. Just practice going there every day until you’re established there. Then you are Yoga. fold into the ultimate expression of stillness. the Shava is the corpse. the innermost stillness of Self. slow deep breathing. while the inner spaciousness that is the innermost abiding presence of Self simply be, nothing to do, nothing to figure out. surrender into the depths of the stillness of the Self that is eternal dependent on nothing outside of it to simply be at ease. Allow yourself to be entirely nourished in the assimilation of your practice. Rest in the depths of your Self.

Roll the groins back so it becomes a habit you do in every yoga pose. Be very aware of that. When you move from the core, you go to the depths of your Being, not skimming around on the surface. You have more depth. So see where you are at. Have you been going deeper? Have things been transforming? If not you may want to go deeper and longer in your practices. When you sit to meditate what’s going on? Go past the stage of just trying to control and regulate everything. When you regulate and control you’re just on the surface. When you’re just Being in the Present, there is no agenda and you are in blissful absorption of the moment.

May we have patience and enjoy the sequential stages of our practice at each stage we come to.

Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,



About the Author:

Nirgunavathi Ananda
Nirgunavathi has studied yoga for 32 years in France, India and the U.S. She has studied Anusara Yoga with John Friend since 1998 and was licensed as an Anusara Yoga teacher in 2003. She is delighted to offer the Yoga Sutras and other life enhancing yogic themes in her playfully serious alignment based Anusara Yoga classes at Lake Center Yoga.

Leave A Comment