Light On The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – What is a ROGI?

( 11.46-48)

I prefer reading the Sutras or Bhagavad Gita after doing my morning practice.

After Savasana, I sat quietly and then let my fingers lead me to the ‘Sutra of the day’. The first word that caught me was Yogi. As I read the sentence backwards, I saw ‘Rogi’.

I wonder how many of us who chanced upon this sentence got worried or frightened.

A ‘Rogi’, as described, is when a performer of asana becomes diseased. This is so when the asanas were thought to be comfortable asanas. There wasn’t any element of firmness, steadiness and endurance to perfect each asana.

For me, the practice of asanas have proven to be tough. The initial process of going through the standing asanas in Primary series took 3/4 of my energy. When I reached the sitting poses, I had to rely on a lot of focus, endurance and breath. Till today, I do not think that any Asana is a comfortable or pleasure pose. There will always be room in my alignment or breath or my awareness, for improvement.

It is also written that every asana the practitioner performs; there is awareness, which is reflection. With the 5 functions each asana performs, a practitioner yields the conative, cognitive, mental, intellectual and spiritual effects!

This brings us to verse 11.47 and 48.

I presume these verses refers to the merging of mind, body and soul. Where the physical body, the mind which perceives dualities and the soul which is pure, are in union. When the practice of asana becomes effortless and yet there is physical effort, the practitioner is in samadhi. There is no effort though physical effort was being exerted, as the physical senses no longer exist. The mind has ceased to perceive differences and extremities of opposites and the soul is freed.

We try to seek perfection in many areas of our daily life. It is only through the imperfection where there is perfection and vice versa. If we cancel the mind effects of both and just give our best in what we do, we are in balance.

It is blissful to be able to practice Yogasanas.