Abyhasa and Vairagya are two concepts from the ancient Indian philosophy of yoga.

The mind’s fluctuations are stilled through practice and acceptance YS 1:12

At WONDER, we love diving into the wisdom of the yoga traditions and have really been enjoying the book, ‘Living The Sutras’ which is a really approachable way to bring ancient wisdom into modern times.

Read on to see how the Sutra that discusses Abyhasa and Vairagya is brought to life and feels accessible.

“Several thousand years ago Aesop told the story of the Ant and the grasshopper. The fable goes that the grasshopper is kicking back in the field enjoying a sunny summer day while the Ant hustles together food for winter. Eventually, the fun-loving grasshopper ends up hungry while the hard-working ant has a feast worth of food.  

The virtue of hard work and discipline is a common one across cultures and shared through parables, fables, and songs. Like Aesop’s tale, The Yoga Sutras, a foundational text on the path of yoga, also tells us that we will need to put in steady consistent effort, Abyhasa, toward our goal. At the same time, we must be comfortable with our efforts and accepting of the results, Vairagya.

WHAT???? I’m supposed to work hard to gather food all summer but not care if I actually reach my goal and have a stockpile for the winter. Like a seesaw, these seemingly oppositional ideas work together to create balance.

The steady consistent effort leads us in the right direction and acceptance allows us to continue the journey without being held back by the pleasure and pain of everyday life. Our ant was able to put in the effort because he wasn’t distracted by the grasshopper’s invitation to play. But this isn’t an all-work and no-play idea. Who’s to say the ant didn’t head to yoga or the movies after his workday was done? In our story the ant achieves his goals but what Aesop never tells us is that our ant discovered he was allergic to everything he collected and couldn’t eat any of it.  At first, he was naturally disappointed but instead of sitting in anger, he cooked up a big meal for the colony, threw a party, and met Mrs Ant who had plenty of food that he wasn’t allergic to.

Sometimes despite our best intentions, we feel our efforts are wasted or they lead us somewhere unexpected. This Sutra is a reminder to enjoy the journey and not worry about the results.”

At WONDER we love seeing people put in effort. You might have begun to move, exercise, and meditate to deal with stress, sleep better, or improve your health. Sometimes this journey is a slow one and does require consistency and the results may not happen as quickly as you imagine they should. But… don’t get too caught up in what you think you need. Maybe along the way, you’ve ignited a friendship with someone in class, or you’ve created a habit of getting up earlier, and the goals you thought you were seeking, while still important aren’t the only destination anymore as you open yourself to other opportunities!

Keep your mind and heart open. Do the work and be present to ALL the possibilities that consistency gifts you.

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