The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali contain 196 Indian Sutras. These Sutras, or aphorisms were compiled around 400 CE by Patanjali, who brought materials together about yoga from older traditions. Within this text, we read about the 8 Limbs of Yoga: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
When you decide to take part on your first yoga retreat through Yoga Travel Tree, you might first think of the incredible places you’ll travel, or the amazing people you may meet. Maybe it’s the new and exciting cuisine that sealed the deal, or the culture of a region you’ve never before seen. Of course, all of these are reasons enough to venture out on a retreat that will certainly deepen your practice. Looking closer, you may notice there's a carefully crafted method to what might seem like madness.
“Yoga Travel Tree was inspired by the simple idea of creating rich, meaningful yoga adventures around the world. We know from experience that both travel and yoga can be transformative experiences for the mind, body, and soul. At Yoga Travel Tree, we bring the two together to offer travel adventures for the young and the young at heart, for the advanced yogi and those just getting started, for the world traveler and the novice sojourner. All are welcome on our yoga adventures.”
Referring to the Yoga Sutras, we encourage you to take note of how this text reflects our mission. For example, traveling to some parts of the world that survive on much less than what we are accustomed to in the U.S. reflects upon Niyama, or more specifically Santosha: The mere satisfaction with what one has. Of course, you’ll be experiencing Asana within the numerous yoga class offerings you’ll be part of. Pranayama is experienced through breathing, meditation, and reflecting towards the inner self. Dhyana and Samadhi are integrated as well throughout the meditative practices you’ll take part of while on your journey.
4 Sutras that Reflect the Mission of Yoga Travel Tree
1. Atha Yoga Anushasam
"Now the discipline of yoga is being presented"
The keyword in the above Sutra is the simple word "now". What is happening to you at this very moment? What sounds do you hear? What sights do you see? What do you smell, how do you feel? An adventure with Yoga Travel Tree isn't simply a vacation to someplace exciting. These journeys require you to live in the present, experience and enjoy this very moment. Through class offerings by experienced yoga teachers, we hope to bring you to your senses and become more in touch with what is happening to you at each and every moment. Savor it, experience it, learn from it and enjoy each and every moment you live while on a journey with Yoga Travel Tree.
2. Tada Drastuh Svarupe Vasthanam
"Then the seer abides in its own nature"
To better explain this verse, one can look to the example of the creation of a statue. In order to make a statue, one does not simply add to stone, mold and build layer upon layer. For a statue to truly emerge, one depicts an image or being and carves away all that is not the statue. Finally, the only thing remaining is the inner true form, a magnificent statue, while everything that does not serve to be the statue is carved away. Embarking upon a journey with Yoga Travel Tree is meant to be a transformative experience for the mind, body and soul. Think of yourself as the statue. When you are removed from your every day life, living in another part of the world, you are given time to let go of everything that doesn't serve your true self. Upon returning, your new being resembles that of a statue, your true inner beauty shines on for all others to acknowledge.
3. Samtosad Anuttamah Sukhalabhah
"From contentment unsurpassed happiness is obtained"
Contentment. The willingness to accept everything that has happened in your life: the failures, the successes, the winning and losing, and appreciating yourself as you are in this very moment. This sutra refers to the ability to remain present and happy with everything that has happened in your life up to your current state. Happiness is attainable for everyone, in order to find happiness, one must find contentment. Whether you're waking up near the beaches of Costa Rica, or taking in the inspiring mountains of Bali, all of these experiences are designed to allow you to see your life as it truly is, and become content with where you are, as the product of your past.
4. Tapas Svadhyaya Isvara Pranidanah Kriya Yogah
"Self-discipline, self-study and devotion are yoga in the form of action"
Tapas is derived from the Sanskrit word "tap", which means "to burn", or otherwise meaning strong discipline. This Sutra is all about utilizing self-discipline to create a strong, consistent and life changing yoga practice. Practicing postures, breathing, and using the meditation of yoga consistently, regardless of your circumstances is what this Sutra truly embodies. It is our hope that with a Yoga Travel Tree retreat or teacher training, you are able to not only practice yoga and meditation consistently, but that you continue to view this practice as a life-long journey. You will learn to make time in your day to day routine to practice asana, meditate, and take your yoga practice to the next level.
To travel to a part of the world you’ve never before seen is a step in the right direction for exploration, and taking yourself outside of the box. With this, and the help of Yoga Travel Tree, you’ll be experiencing much more than you have imagined. A yoga retreat isn’t simply a trip to a far off land, taking a bunch of yoga classes, then packing your bags and heading home. It’s truly a transformative experience that will shed new light on what you truly value in your own life. One may choose to experience as little or as many of the 8 limbs of yoga as they see fit. Hopefully, you’ll feel inspired to follow through and open yourself up to what your mind, body and soul experiences, and have a little fun along the way. This is the true goal of Yoga Travel Tree.