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Yoga Sutra 1.2 – Stilling the Mind

Yoga Stills Fluctuation of the Mind


Yoga Sutra 1.2 ~ Yoga chitta vritti nirodha

Yoga stills the fluctuations of the mind

“Yoga is the mastery of the activities of the mind-field. Then the seer rests in its very true nature.” ~ Swami Rama

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are 196 sutras that were written to describe the eight limbs or steps for the yogi to quiet one’s mind and achieve Samadhi (the blissful state where the yogi becomes united with all consciousness).

With applying this yoga sutra to our asana practice we can begin to cultivate and clear the way for attaining stillness in the  mind. When we step into the yoga room and roll out our mats, let us set aside the next 60 or 90 minutes for our asana. Leave the outside distractions of the world at the door, the noises from the city, the rush to make it to class, the thoughts about our work day, and take those first steps onto the mat with a bright intention. An intention that is to move with single pointed concentration through our asana, to breathe prana (life force) through our body, and ultimately to allow our mind to still it’s constant ripples of thought. This practice through our asana will slowly begin to cultivate our own inner awareness and the ability to still the mind.

I often think of the mind as a lake that is in constant ripples of movement. Perhaps I am playfully skipping stones into the lake and not realizing how many ripples I am creating in my mind. These ripples take our consciousness into the outside world and allow us to get swept away into the hustle and bustle of life. How often are we able to actually calm the ripples and pull our senses within? If we are able to slowly withdraw our attention from the outside circus of the world and hide the skipping stones  from the mind, we will be able to calm the ripples. What happens when the mind is still? Turning within and stilling the mind allows us to find our own inner peace and allow the beauty and bliss of that state to unfold.

I can remember sweet moments at the end of yoga class when I was lying in savasana and had complete stillness. I was flooded with a tidal wave of love, bliss, and happiness and tears just began to fall down my cheeks. It was in that sweet moment that I had truly felt stillness in my mind. The ‘nirodha mind’ or regulated, controlled mind is truly mastered by meditation and turning our attention inward.  Yoga asana allows us to move physically and begin to cultivate a bright inner focus.  Sealing our practice with meditation is the ultimate in calming the mind and surrendering to our inner Self.

Everything was left at the door when we walked into class. We can step back into the whirlwind of the world when we leave class or we can choose to continue to carry that stillness with us. Try practicing asana with single pointed concentration and setting aside time each day for meditation. With 5 minutes a day of meditation we can tune inwards and slowly start to experience inner peace.

Find Your Light!  Do Yoga. Namaste!





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