Releasing Expectation

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Patanjali's Yoga Sutras are made up of 196 aphorisms, broken up into four chapters. This roadmap of lessons and observations provide insight into the inner workings of the mind, discussing the "fluctuations of consciousness" that come with simply being human. We all have patterns of thought and behaviors that may not serve us; things we wish we could change, and ideas of how we think things should be. Our practice supports us in releasing these expectations and assumptions in order to truly awaken to the path of presence.

In the Sutras it is said that we can loosen our patterns of habitual thought and behaviors through consistent practice and presence; presence being something we feel and embody only when free of expectation. In other words, we experience engaging in our lives without attaching or clinging onto a proposed ideal or outcome; when we allow the flow of live to move through and to channel the beauty of wonderment, reflection and as Patanjali says, "pure I-am-ness." (Sutra 1.17). One teacher/scholar (Matthew Remski) likens this concept to the awe of being alive-- after all, it is only within curiosity void of expectation that we truly step into ourselves; in the seat of the observer eager to witness, as the studentwilling to learn, and the participant ready to live.

Our practice is not about getting the poses perfect. Our practice is not about getting rid of the thoughts or even making sense of them. Our practice is about living inside of AWE and outside of assumption. It is about a beautifully simple and consistent returning to breath, an active remembering of who we are and what we are here to do and an honest effort inreflecting on all that comes through along the way.

Lauren Cohen