Yoga Sutra 1.18

1.18 If the focus wavers or if the practice is stopped, mental impressions (sanskaras) may arise, clouding the consciousness.

The first time I read this sutra, I was so relieved. Granted, clouding of the consciousness is no party, but knowing that all’s not lost if I stop my practice and try to start back up again is extremely comforting. We’re allowed to slip up and be human. A pattern I easily slip into is making my spiritual practice very rigid. I give myself rules to live by, and when I don’t follow through on a daily basis, I feel disappointed in myself. The inflexibility takes away all the freedom and joy from practice. This sutra gives me permission to just be me. Sanskaras may arise, but my life isn’t over if I’m not perfect.

Today I’ll practice forgiveness with myself. I will forgive and celebrate my imperfections. I will practice without any idea of how it is supposed to look and I will let the sunlight of joy and love flow through me.

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