Nature and Soul… and how they try to connect.

This past week we discussed the yogic outlook on the structure of the universe.  Recognizing there are two distinct aspects, the natural world and the spiritual world that can be called Prakriti (nature) and Purusa (soul).

The yogi endeavors to unite the two for clear understanding and connection to Purusa.     Part of the details regarding this project is to recognize that things in nature, (including our own selves and minds), can be calm and balanced or quite disturbed and murky.

We discussed the Trigunas – qualities of nature which are sattva (illumination), rajas (active), tamas (dormant or inert).  Knowing about these qualities, and recognizing the need to balance rajas with tamas to reach a balanced calm state is a basic precept of why we practice.  If they are balanced we may be able to view the Soul clearly.

We worked hard in standing forward bends to use the stability needed, and the fluidity required to calm the experience of these asanas towards a quiet experience.  And…well with screaming hamstrings or wobbly balance there is always a lot of obvious reasons to carry on with our practice!


5 Replies to “Nature and Soul… and how they try to connect.”

  1. I add my learning example to my friend Sharon Que’s of incorporating our yoga in life, once we leave AASY. What resonated for me recently was the teaching of Yamas, specifically Aparigvaha. During class Laurie provides clear step-by-step guidance for adding complex difficult movements to poses that are known. The breath and Laurie’s instructions result in being in the pose. Then moving on to the next pose. As a long time commuter to my work using the Aparigvaha, helps me manage the fear from seeing distracted fast driving fellow commuters swerving and braking to being able to focus on my own driving. My intention is for the commute to be as much as a calming experience as possible.

  2. No, sattva is still a quality ( gina) of some manifestation of Prakrati – Nature, but once human consciousness is balanced in a sattvic state then nature, in that state of balance, can reflect perfectly our perception towards seeing the soul in full illumination, not sullied or murky by our out of balance consciousness.

    Thanks Jim for your thoughtful reading and comment!

  3. Laurie, I appreciate your teachings at the start of class too, and I’ve printed them to be able to think about them more fully. Once rajas and tamas are in balance, is sattva a natural human faculty of perception that allows soul to illuminate us, or is it “soulful” itself – participating in the divine?


  4. Laurie:
    I really enjoy and appreciate your philosophy component at the beginning of class and on your web site.

    Thank you for including these lessons, thoughts and concepts as part of the class. It brings a nice depth and reverence at the start of practice and into the day.


  5. Laurie is teaching us about the three gunas: sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. About using these different qualities to our advantage. My example at work today utilizing this concept is when I glue a delicate area. I have glued a crack in a violin, it is very thin and will reopen if not handled carefully but in order to stabilize it I have to chisel away some wood and fit a doubling. Yoga teaches us to have the mental and physical ability to isolate movements so for this process it will require one hand and arm to be delicate and the other hand and arm to be vigorous. Actually this simplifies the example a bit. In reality by knowing about the wood and years of using chisels allows a delicacy in chiseling which is a vigorous activity.

    Sharon Que

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