“Just do good and be good.” – Master Swami Sivanandaji
Hello, SOTGC community,
As a new yoga instructor, I notice connections between the new teachings and ideas to which I am exposed through yoga practice and scholarship to the workplace. For yoga teacher training, I read the Yoga Sutras, the collected teachings of renowned yoga sage Patanjali Maharishi.
The word “sutra” means “thread” in Sanskrit, so you can consider the individual sutras as the unique interwoven threads that form the very fabric of yoga. Patanjali’s early Sutras lead the student through the mental aspects of yoga, such as contemplation, mindfulness, and letting go of attachments – qualities not undesirable in the workplace, either!
The highest goal of yoga practice is to work through contemplation, mindfulness, and non-attachment to attain samadhi, or the totally liberated state. The key to achieving samadhi is practice. Without practice, there can be no yoga, no liberation, no freedom from attachments. Similarly, at work, without practice (in a long meeting about a meeting, with a difficult colleague, on a new project), you may stymie yourself in frustrations and self-doubt. As Sri Swami Satchidananda, the translator and commentator on Patanjali’s Sutras, notes in the preface:
“Every day let us check our progress and see that we grow a little better. Every day should elevate us a little, broaden our attitudes, reduce our selfishness and make us better masters over our own body, senses and mind. … This liberation is not for the remote or for when we die; it is to be lived in the very midst of the world.”
Every day presents the opportunity to start anew, try again, practice, and grow! Achieving liberation from the distractions of the mind does not happen after one day of contemplation or meditation, but, as Satchidananda noted above, it is an attainable goal for which we should strive in our lifetime – at home and at work.
How will incorporating the Yoga Sutras at work enhance your relationships with yourself, your colleagues, and your job? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda (Virginia: Integral Yoga Publications, 2013) (revised ed., 2nd printing).