The Sutra Series: Foundation of Abhyāsa 1•14

It becomes firmly grounded by being continued for a long time with reverence, without interruption.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali • 1.14 • Foundation of Abhyasa

In this sutra, known as the foundation of abhyāsa, we understand more about how to make something a habit, a regular practice. There are three conditions for the practice of abhyasa: practice with complete faith, continue practice without interruption, practice for a long time. When these three conditions are met, abhyasa becomes part of your nature.

How many times have you wanted to take on a certain habit or lifestyle but failed? How many times have you set a short-term goal -the infamous workout plan for a beach body- only to gain all the weight back during winter? Perhaps you wanted to become a morning person? Perhaps you wanted to become a yoga practitioner? Perhaps you even wanted to drink 3 litres of water daily. We all have goals that we keep chasing, and some of us reach them for fleeting moments and a temporary sense of success.

When you practice abhyasa, it’s no longer about a short-term goal or something that you wanted to try. You start realizing and reaping very real, concrete and substantial results and that’s when you see the importance and effect of what you’re practicing and why you’re practicing it. You will reach a level of spiritual maturity that will allow you to make the practice a part of you, a part of your nature. You won’t be practicing because you have to practice, but because you want to practice. Satkara in this sutra, means earnestness, respect and devotion, and that’s what you’ll be able to bring to your practice to make it a part of you.

So I urge you, take whatever you’ve been wanting to accomplish for so long and apply these three rules: maintain a steady practice, do so without unnecessary interruptions, and do it with all your presence and faith. Let us know how it goes. Love and light for your journey and endeavor :)