What is the reclaim. framework?
This framework is designed to share Patañjali’s contribution to moral philosophy in the way that it is presented in the seminal text, the Yoga Sūtra.
You can download the Framework Guide here:The reclaim. Framework
What are the phases of the reclaim. framework?
foundations. is the first preparatory phase and will provide baseline information aimed at contributing to (a) your understanding of yoga and it’s teachings, and (b) a deepening of your experience in the sessions offered in (p)reclaim. and reclaim.
(pre)claim. is the second preparatory phase and will address the teachings associated with antidotes to distractions that scatter the mind and impede one’s ability to begin yoga practice.
reclaim. is the ‘official’ practice phase and will address the teachings associated with yoga practice and remedies to the afflictions that reveal themselves as obstacles during practice.
This phase requires that you are open to operating with the commitment that all of your beliefs and truths are contingent based on circumstances; those who treat their beliefs as facts that are independent of them may find tension here. You can read more about this in the blog post linked below.
Summary of the teachings
In Patañjali’s view, People are intrinsically pure, benign and morally perfect beings. They are characterized by consciousness, intelligence and volition – meaning that they have free will (YS I.29).
People are also considered perceivers, knowers and doers (YS I.3).
- Thus, People are not only found in human bodies.
Nature as we know it – consisting of everything that is not a Person – comes about in order to provide experiences for People; these experiences are intended to lead to self-understanding and self-mastery for each Person. Nature’s only purpose then, is to serve People (YS II.18, 21-23).
Nature includes the mind, senses and body, with the mind being the most proximate aspect of Nature to the Person.
Under normal circumstances, when People do not practice Yoga, they approach the project of self-understanding reactively (YS I.4).
When People do not understand their true essence, they act in ways that are harmful, covetous, deceitful and unrestrained in their interactions with themselves and others (YS I.4).
An alternative for People is to practice yoga, and approach the project of self-understanding actively, which can lead to the ultimate outcome of yoga: kaivalya (liberation) (YS II.25).
In order for a Person to understand themself, they practice impressing their essential nature on their immediate and proximate Natural environment, so that their environment becomes a mirror bearing their reflection.
Therefore, in Patañjali’s Yoga, People aim to restrain the mind (the closest part of Nature to the Person) so that it reflects the essence of them as a Person (YS I.2) – that which is intrinsically pure, benign and morally perfect.
This restraint of the mind is challenging for most People because of, amongst other things, unhelpful tendency impressions that confuse the Person.
Conscious tendency impressions (memory) and unconscious tendency impressions (saṃskāras) are not passive, but a result of the active effort of a Person to retain past experiences as part of their self-understanding (YS I.11, IV.9) – which ultimately results in self-misunderstanding.
- We put effort into defining ourselves through past events that we hold on to.
Therefore, if People can invest in understanding themselves through established tendency impressions, they can also choose differently and renounce unhelpful connections to fixations, attachments and traumas.
- This isn’t necessarily easy, but it can be empowering as it recognizes a Person’s role both in their illness and in their psychic recovery.
Tendency impressions are formed as a result of a Person’s reaction to an experience. This sets up psychological dispositions that mature in time, to which the Person will react again, and again, consistently reinforcing the tendency impression.
- Therefore, without active effort, People’s pathologies acquire a certain momentum of their own.
To practice yoga then is much like the effort to slow down a whirlpool. The practical means of setting up such resistance to harmful tendency momentum is the substance of Patañjali’s practical approach to living and aiming.
If People choose not to set up resistance, their lives are then lived for the most part in reaction to stimuli or feedback mechanisms that have been allowed to persist through a lack of yoga practice.
If a Person is seeking liberation from self-misunderstanding, it is in their long term interests to practice yoga, which restrains the turbulence of the mind, bringing it into line with one’s essence as a Person (YS I.2-.3).
Patañjali stresses that is not intellectual insights from the outside that will liberate People, but instead consistent internal practice. Self-misunderstanding is a very real form of bondage, and a Person’s effort is required to overcome it (YS I.14).
- ‘YS’ is short for ‘Yoga Sūtra’
- The source for all Yoga Sūtra references on this page is: Patañjali. Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra: Translation, Commentary and Introduction. Translated by S. Ranganathan. Edited by S. Ranganathan, Black Classics. Delhi: Penguin Black Classics, 2008.
FOUNDATIONS. IN PRACTICE
The information and practices offered during these sessions are expressions of the teachings outlined above.
You can also apply the teachings in any expressions that work for you in your own life!
MORE SESSIONS COMING SOON!