As we evolve this yoga further and further to adapt and suit our ever changing world, I'm finding myself coming back again and again to the essence of what it is we are practicing. In the temptation to always make our practice about the most obvious thing, the body, where the most attention is required to bring ourselves back to centre is the focus on the mind.
As the world moves faster, we are further stimulated and 'caught' in our spiralling, repetitive pattern of thoughts, with less time and space to pull ourselves back. Its like slamming the brakes on a semi-trailer. Where are we as the mind continuously swings from 'should haves' to 'could bes'? From 'I wish I did that' to 'where is this leading to'? These thoughts spin and accumulate until we get so caught up in a reactionary state of thinking that we find ourselves bound and unable to move forward in a positive direction because it is now a habit. Our Yoga is a purge of negative thinking. Through our practice we get to stop and untangle from these patterns of spinning thoughts.
To break down this sutra...
yoga - union, to yoke, to join together
citta - functions of the mind that create habitual patterns. In it's simplest form it is the heart-mind field of awareness
vritti - the fluctuations, movements, changes, the patterns. The activity within the citta.
nirodhaha - the cessation, the integration and regulation. The joy of space that allows us to grow and expand.
That last word. Beautiful. This is the part we bring into our practice. Those brakes that pull us back to the heart, like a rudder that steers the ship back on course.
How else to explain this other than to experience it? Close your eyes at any point in your day and observe.
om namah shivayah
photograph by Keeper Creative