This fall, the Smithsonian in Washington DC will be opening up the first-of-its-kind exhibit titled Yoga: The Art of Transformation. According to the exhibit website, Yoga: The Art of Transformation will feature “temple sculptures, devotional icons, vibrant manuscripts—as well as early modern photographs, books, and films.”
Because of the scale and scope of the exhibit, the Smithsonian has launched a crowd funding campaign to help raise money to support the cause. For more information to learn how you can support the exhibit watch the video below or click here to donate!
We’re thrilled to announce that ERIN KENNEDY is the winner of the Sutra Challenge, an opportunity that we opened up for the IYISF community to explore a sutra and let us know what it means to them.
Here is Erin’s beautifully written interpretation of 1.36: VISOKA VA JYOTISHMATI:
In the first chapter of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Samadhi Pada, there is an explanation of how to counteract distractions which are obstacles to a yogis path to freedom – obstacles we all face at one point or another. In the following sutras (or threads) Patanjali offers several suggestions as to how to overcome these distractions that lead us away from finding our true selves. In sutra I.36, he offers this bit of guidance: viśokā vā jyotiṣmatī, “… inner stability is gained by contemplating a luminous, sorrowless, effulgent light” (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, B.K.S. Iyengar, 88). When I visualize this light that Patanjali speaks of, I see the full moon – a light representing the possibility for fullness in my practice; a guide through the darkness that can sometimes come upon me when I least expect it; a marker of the fact that even though we may not always see ourselves as whole, we already are.
Why the correlation between the moon and this particular sutra? Perhaps because one of my teachers is Cynthia Bates, a yogini with a love for the moon; always smiling and bright, she reminds me of that moon – a shining example of the possibilities for change within our practice and our lives. This always present possibility for transformation is the key reason I am so in love with yoga. In my experience, the practice of yoga brings a sense of peace and equanimity to the practitioner, an ability to see the good and wondrous ways of the world, a chance to realize our own true nature as one of bliss and eternal freedom. It requires that we diligently use the tools set out by our teachers and our teachers’ teachers, but it also holds the possibility for fulfillment in all areas of our experience of this life, from our everyday activities to the deep, inner core of our being. Hare Aum.
Congratulations to Erin again!