Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.31

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Accompaniments to the mental distractions include distress, despair, trembling of the body and disturbed breathing.

From these obstacles, there are four other consequences that also arise, and these are: 1) mental or physical pain, 2) sadness or dejection, 3) restlessness, shakiness, or anxiety, and 4) irregularities in the exhalation and inhalation of breath.

These four arise because of the other nine obstacles discussed in 1.30. These four may be easier to notice in yourself, and give a clue that something more subtle is going on below the surface. At times in my life, I have experienced low mood or sadness, and I can see that this could be a symptom of a deeper instability – for example I may have been feeling sad because of ‘false perception’, or not seeing things as they really are, or perhaps I was comparing myself to others, or not maintaining a regular meditation and yoga practice (‘failure to reach firm ground’). If we notice these four clues in ourselves or others, it is a sign that something deeper is going on that needs addressing.

 

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