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 People are never means to ends. Patañjali outlines the following code of conduct which supports this commitment:
Interrupt harm in order to create facts about a world that leaves all People’s (including your) personal property intact, their personal boundaries intact, while also increasing their ability to effectively practice self-understanding (YS II.30-.39).
Those raised in imperialist societies (the vast majority of us) may find tension here, because imperialism is based on relationships of exploitation. Not only is this often all that we know, but it is also hard to escape it and still survive.
Remember: we get to practice! This is the golden rule on steroids; even when we fall short, just the act of approximating this code of conduct is in itself good.
Summary of the teachings
Any action is yogic when it has these three characteristics (YS II.1):
- It is challenging,
- It allows you to study yourself / own your values, and
- It creates space for all other people to do (1) and (2); it is an act of devotion to Sovereignty.
Together, these characteristics describe right procedure.
During yoga practice, a Person aims to restrain the mind through making decisions based on right procedure, such that they are no longer creating new unhelpful tendency impressions, nor supporting existing ones within themselves.
This is achieved by minimizing afflictions, the most pressing of which is ignorance – the conflation of a Person with Nature. Afflictions that flow from ignorance are egotism, attachment, aversion and clinging to bodily security (YS II.2-.9).
- These afflictions together constitute both (a) the cause of suffering and (b) why yoga practice is then necessary.
With practice, a Person starts to distinguish themself from Nature, which reduces ignorance (self-misunderstanding), which makes it easier to practice, which re-affirms helpful tendencies, which makes it easier to practice, etc. This is an example of the whirlpool-like momentum that was described in the foundations. section, but a helpful version (YS I.50). This highlights again a Person’s role both in their illness and in their psychic recovery.
When a Person is experiencing any of these afflictions, they can employ the following upāya (remedy) in order to both (a) uncover the genesis of an affliction and (b) abandon it as a method for self-understanding (YS II.26, .28-.29)
The Eight Limbs of Yoga
- Commit to upholding the Great Vow: a code of conduct that every Person ought to subscribe to in order to create space for everyone to thrive (YS II.30-.39).
- Practice (a) making decisions by way of the three characteristics of yogic action outlined previously, while (b) renouncing anti-Yogic things (maintaining purity of practice) and (c) cultivating contentment with your practice (YS II.32-.33, .40-.45).
- Practice postures that are both still and pleasant (YS II.46-.48).
- Practice interrupting harmful, pathological breathing patterns (YS II.49-.53).
- Practice withdrawing attention from the senses and their objects (YS II.54).
- Practice placing attention on a specific physical object (YS III.1)
- An intensification of (6); Practice placing attention on a specific subtle object, perhaps of spiritual character or symbol that resonates with you (YS III.2, see also YS I.39, II.11).
- Practice experiencing a vision of yourself – a Person (YS III.3).
The practices within this remedy – which build off of each other – are intended to be followed in their order, which move the practitioner from external to internal considerations. The final three stages of this remedy can only be practiced by someone who has made great advances in the first five.
As they constitute a remedy, none of these limbs are the final resting place of Yoga (YS III.7).
The yoga practitioner is encouraged to regard all experiences as opportunities for practice, loosening any preferences they may hold about particular kinds of experiences (i.e. pleasant versus painful) (YS II.15).
The more one practices, the fewer unhelpful tendency impressions they have, and the more helpful tendency impressions they have. One’s success will be proportional to their degree of practice intensity; this means that regardless of whether a Person practices a little or a lot lot, they will have that degree of success (YS I.21-.22)
As a practitioner spends more time in the seventh limb, seeds of ignorance are destroyed. Then, in the final stage while experiencing visions of themself – the practitioner ceases to create new self-understanding by way of Nature (aka ignorance) and they cease to support existing self-understanding by way of Nature. Therefore, old ignorance is being destroyed and no new ignorance is being added.
With time in practice, the final resting place of Yoga is described as the end of ignorance, where there is no longer any need to practice experiencing a vision of oneself (aka discerning Persons from Nature). This is what is called Isolation (kaivalya) by Patañjali.
From this Isolation yields a Person self-understanding that transcends all arbitrary, contingent distinctions between People. There is an understanding that all Persons have the right to the knowledge that is revealed through yoga.
And this brings us to the end of the framework.
- ‘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.
RECLAIM. IN PRACTICE
The 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!
- reclaim. Sessions From: $67.00 / month