Yoga Sutras for Focused Attention

By Lissa Coffey,

In Ayurveda, focused attention is valued because it helps us in many areas of our lives. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali break down for us what it takes to achieve this. These are qualities that we can embody, ways of being rather than things to do.

• Shraddha: Faith, trust. We need to trust in the intelligence of the Universe and welcome any experiences that come our way. It is about accepting and loving what is, rather than what we think should be.

• Virya: Strength. This is inner strength, fortitude. It is the ability to remain undistracted by disturbances, and to be resilient when things go wrong.

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• Smrutti: Memory. When we have certain things learned by memory, whether it is the times tables or our social security number, it gives us more mental energy because we don’t have to bother with trying to remember. A good memory allows us to think more clearly and effectively.

• Samadhi: Balanced Consciousness. This is about being fully present in the moment. It is non-judgment, experiencing things as they unfold without criticism.

• Prajna: Discernment. This is knowing what is real and what is not real. It is understanding where we need to put our attention.

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