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Discovering Yoga’s Essence Part 2: Constant Inner Practice (Abhyasa) And Desirelessness (Vairagya)

Patanjali, the wise sage, shares beautiful insights in his Yoga Sutras(oldest book available “Patanjali Yoga Sutras) guiding us on the path to a joyous and fulfilling life. In first part of book “Samadhi Pada” he describes yoga as a journey marked by two pillars:

  1. Constant inner practice (Abhyasa)
  2. Desirelessness (Vairagya).

These are two loving directions to understand and work on yourself.

Firstly, let’s talk about desirelessness. It’s not about denying your desires but discovering a greater source within you. Patanjali suggests a two-step process. The initial step is recognizing when you’re seeking sensuous pleasures. It could be in food, relationships, or various experiences. Instead of fighting these desires, pause and turn inward, Explore every moment as a form of meditation, recognizing that the joy you are experiencing is not external. Instead, realize that your feelings and experiences are within you, coming from your own perspective and being the essence of your inner self.

When you’re really enjoying something, it’s because you’re fully in the moment. In those times, there’s no worrying about the past or future – you’re just completely present. That feeling of being present is where all the joy comes from.

Patanjali advises taking a peaceful pause under a tree or in nature. Relax your body and breath, notice your thoughts fading, and enter into inner quietness. You will find pleasurable and peaceful joy within you, use it as a cue to meditate and discover the happiness within. Realize your joy doesn’t come from outside – it’s a beautiful part of you and it’s inside of you.

This brings us to the core idea: desirelessness isn’t about deprivation; it’s about discovering an infinite well of happiness within yourself. You become like a magnet, naturally drawn towards this inner joy. As a result, external desires start losing their significance. They wither away, not because you fought them, but because you found something more profound.

Now, picture this: you enjoy a delicious meal or share a tender moment with a loved one. It becomes a celebration rather than a dependency. You’re not using external elements for happiness; you’re sharing the happiness that already exists within you. Relationships transform into genuine connections, free from the chains of dependence.

In the final stage of desirelessness is the moment when we realize the higher state of meditation. Our True self, our being. Initially, acknowledge that you are the source of your happiness. To enter into this state you explore the totality of your inner self, asking, “Who am I ?” This deep self-awareness transforms you.


As you understand the becoming and start settling into your being, all misery dissipates. Desirelessness becomes effortless, a natural state. Struggle vanishes, and the ego, the subtle or gross sense of self, dissolves. Nature flows through you, and consciousness becomes pure without effort.

Remember, struggle breeds ego. Whether in worldly pursuits or inner spiritual endeavors, striving creates a sense of “I.” The ultimate goal is the disappearance of this ego. Acceptance of yourself and accepting others around you open a spontaneous flow of life.

Patanjali’s teachings aim to silence the internal chatter, allowing you to hear your deepest nature. Meditation serves as a tool to quiet the bio-computer mind, preventing it from deceiving you. Through abhyasa (inner practice) and vairagya (desirelessness), one becomes a yogi, reaching the goal.

Remember, misery is mind-created. Acknowledge this truth, for it holds the key to your liberation. By dropping wrong habits, attitudes, and desires, you pave the way for the ultimate joy within human consciousness.

So, Patanjali’s message is clear – Abhyasa is a way to find out who you are and desirelessness is a journey of self-discovery and celebration. It’s about recognizing the abundant source of happiness within you. Embrace each moment, let joy flow from within, and watch as desires naturally fade away. This is not a struggle against yourself; it’s a loving journey towards your true nature, filled with infinite energy and bliss.

Passive Meditation for Abhyasa (Constant Inner Practice):

Sit Comfortably: Find a quiet space and sit comfortably with your spine erect. Cross-legged on the floor or on a chair – choose a position that suits you.

Awareness of Breath: Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Observe the natural flow of your breath without attempting to control it. Feel the breath entering and leaving your body.

Witness the Thoughts: As you focus on your breath, thoughts may arise. Instead of suppressing them, become a witness. Imagine you are sitting on the bank of a river, observing the flow of thoughts passing by.

Gently Return to Breath: Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently guide your awareness back to the breath. Be patient with yourself, without any judgment. This returning to the breath is the essence of constant inner practice.

Expand Awareness: Gradually, expand your awareness beyond the breath to include the sensations in your body, sounds in the environment, and any other present moment experiences. Embrace everything without attachment.

Inner Silence: As you continue, aim for moments of inner silence between thoughts. In this silence, a profound stillness emerges. Stay connected to this silence, as it is the core of constant inner practice.

Passive Meditation for Vairagya (Desirelessness):

Heart-Centered Awareness: Shift your focus from the breath to the area around your heart. Imagine a radiant light or a flower blooming at the center of your chest. This is your heart center.

Letting Go of Desires: With each inhalation, visualize breathing in light or energy into your heart. As you exhale, release any desires, attachments, or expectations. Envision them dissolving into the space around you.

Expansion of Love: Feel the love and compassion expanding from your heart. Extend this love to yourself, to others, and to the world. Cultivate a sense of unity and interconnectedness beyond personal desires.

Contemplation on Impermanence: Reflect on the impermanence of desires and the transient nature of worldly achievements. Imagine your desires fading away like ripples on water, leaving behind a serene and desireless state.

Surrender: Practice surrendering to the present moment. Allow life to unfold without rigid expectations. Embrace each experience with an open heart, free from the bondage of craving.

Affirmation: Conclude the meditation with a positive affirmation, acknowledging your completeness in the present moment. Repeat to yourself, “I am whole, I lack nothing. At this moment, I am desireless and content.”

Beloved Friends, Consistency is key in both abhyasa and vairagya. Gradually, these practices can lead to a state of inner peace, joy and bliss.

The way of Yoga New vision is rooted in loving guidance and bringing all the ancient teachings of the east under one roof.

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Deep “A yogi friend”
“Uniting East and West by combining Ancient wisdom with Modern science”

Deep-ji (1)
Lead Trainer and Visionary
Yoga New Vision Bali

Acknowledgement – it is inspired and directed from “Patanjali Yoga Sutra” Osho Vision “ Yoga Alpha and the Omega” Samadhi Pada.
Grateful for the guidance of enlightened masters.

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