Sutra 1:13

The two observances(tatra): practice(abhyasa) and non-attachment(vairagya), is monumental in Yoga. As far as practice goes, you have to engage in the persistent effort(yatnah) to purify your thought patterns.

Personal spiritual development requires great effort in critical thinking and has to be followed by action. It is only practised by the courageous, and is not everyone’s cup of tea, even though we might like to think so after reading a few books, and rubbing shoulders with a few others who have done so.

We put great effort in developing strategies when it comes to our material and social interests but give no heed to cultivating our heart in matters of compassion, and our mind in the science of spirituality. Even though we know intuitively that this is the most important areas to focus on for the welfare, and well-being of all that exists.

QUESTION: If this is so important, then why is it that we neglect this important practice to such gross degrees?

It is because we have been conditioned to give importance to that which is material to satisfy someone else's greed. If media, society, and our economic structure began putting more emphasis on spirituality than fame, fortune, and adornment of a body that is deteriorating and dying by the second, then humans, who do all out of Drive and Affiliation based inclinations; will take to spirituality in droves. Because then, becoming morally taintless will be perceived as the new cool thing. The thing that will bring you attention and love...empty love it may be, but that won't matter because we will remain ignorant to how we have been conditioned through manipulation by someone else. Yoga is also the science of recognizing how we have been conditioned, and then systematically undoing that conditioning.

Practice (abhyasa)

The only way to become a great artist is to work night and day. To lose yourself in it.
~ Picasso ~

Neuroplasticity has become a buzzword in psychology and scientific circles, as well as outside of them, promising that you can “rewire” your brain to improve everything from health and mental well-being to quality of life. There’s a lot of conflicting, misleading, and erroneous information out there

How Neuroplasticity Shows Up In Your Life

I know the power of neuroplasticity first hand, as I devised and performed my own homegrown, experience-dependent neuroplasticity-based exercises for years to recover from a brain injury, the result of a suicide attempt. Additionally, through extensive cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, and mindfulness practices, all of which encourage neuroplastic change, I overcame depression, anxiety, and totally revamped my mental health and life. But it was because of neuroplastic change that I became entrenched in depressive, anxious, obsessive, and over-reactive patterns in the first place. source

You cannot create a new state of being just by imagining that you are a new, happy, and successful person. You need to put that new person into life-giving positive actions on a consistent basis. Whenever you practice to harmonize your thoughts and actions with new envisioned reality, you produce coherent thoughts that produce corresponding emotions.

As a result of this, your internal chemistry changes. As this happenes, there is an alteration in your neurological makeup. The old synaptic connections are replaced by the new intended ones. You begin to express your genetic code in a whole new way creating your desired reality. Without perserverence and diligence, there will be no change.

Selflessness

The doctrine of detachment, or selflessness, or work in the spirit of sacrifice is as old as Creation itself. To us laypeople, there is much comfort to be derived from the thought that the seers of old practised detachment, which is the message of the Gita, to an extent that puzzles our sophisticated generation.source

Whenever you become emotionally attached to an outcome, your inherent threat mechanism gets activated everytime you are met with a dissapointment. You begin to worry, ruminate, and panic. As this happens, reactions associated to feelings of anxiety and anger becomes order of the day. When this happens, the brain starts getting stress signals which distubs the exchange of coherent electrical signal between you and the universal consciousness that wants to maintain order and abundance in your life. As a result of this imbalance due to mixed messages, you end up pushing away the beautiful life you intended. The way out of this dilema is to do your duty, but remain detached to the outcome of your efforts and inentions.

  • Sutra-1.13 tatra sthitau yatnah abhyasa
  • tatra - of these two (abhyasa and vairagya)

  • sthitau - stability, steadiness, stable tranquility, undisturbed calmness

  • yatnah - effort, persistent, sustained endeavour

  • abhyasa - by or with practice, repeated practice