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Yogic Understanding Of The Mind
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The human mind has been a fascinating subject of enquiry and research. The western world has called the study of mind as psychology. It has emphasized on different layers or aspects of the mind such as conscious, subconscious, collective unconscious etc. Over the centuries, philosophers, religions and the eastern cultures have also understood the human mind in various ways.
What is mind?
Simply put, mind is a collection of information which can be used creatively by an individual. How effectively this information is applied also determines your common sense. The mind includes your beliefs, desires, emotions, habits, memory, attitude, perceptions, logic, everything. Some of these aspects are actively used by you in your day to day life while the others may lie dormant. The mind is almost constantly moving between the past and future. It is difficult to keep it in the present. Yoga says the reason for this movement is disorderliness or disturbance which causes many internal changes in the body.
Yoga has emphasized on the importance of fixing the mind in the present or ‘now’. Asanas, pranayama, mudras, bandhas practiced in a yoga class are intended to fix your awareness in the present. While this may last for just an hour a day initially, it can slowly translate into a 24 hour phenomenon with practice.
Mind is a kriya or movement
Like walking, swimming, sleeping, eating, mind can be understood as kriya or movement or action. When mind is in action, it is termed as ‘manan’ or minding. There is a certain flow to your mind and if you try to resist or fight it, your system may rebel against you. It may result in confusion, indecisiveness, anxiety, anger etc. Yoga suggests a certain ‘anushasanam’ or discipline must be established within you in order to control the mind. Discipline needs to be achieved in terms of an understanding of the mind rather than a rigid approach of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ towards the mind.
Yoga says there are two aspects to this mind – doer and witness. When you become a witness to your actions or doing, it is called awareness. In order to remain aware of yourself, some amount of stillness or poise within you is essential. A simple practice like holding a posture is aimed towards attaining stillness. The moment you begin to observe and connect to your body and breath, you will be able to explore and understand the mind in depth. This understanding can release tremendous amount of energy.
Yoga also emphasizes on keeping your body clean in order to purify the mind. Making healthier choices makes the mind happy. A positive attitude towards life and people helps keep your mind relaxed and free of disappointment and anxiety. In recent times, research has shown chanting or prayer influences the activity of the brain while it relaxes the mind and can revive cells in the human body.
Cessation of the mind is the goal of yoga
No matter how far and deep you search for the mind, you will be unable to locate it to one single point. When you work on the mind through yoga, it is possible to experience it as nothing. As explained by Patanjali, one of the greatest yogis of all times, there are only five modifications of the mind – right knowledge, wrong knowledge, sleep, memory and imagination. Inevitably, one of these modifications encircles you at any given time. Patanjali describes the goal of yoga in a yogasutra or aphorism as ‘yoga chitta vritti nirodhah’. It means yoga is a process by which you can cease or stop the modifications of the mind.
When understood literally, chitta is consciousness which is the by-product of masculine and feminine aspects of the individual. Vritti is anything that rotates like a whirlpool. Nirodhah is to stop or cease. Such an experience of cessation of the modifications of the mind is known as shunya samadhi in yoga.
Tip of the week: An instant way to calm the mind is to breathe deeply at least 10-15 times when you feel angry, anxious or overwhelmed.
If you are searching for the best Power Yoga Classes, then you are at the right place. World renowned Artistic Yoga provides the best customised yoga classes for all ages in Delhi, Gugaon,Mumbai and Bangalore. For more details about Yoga Classes Mumbai, please visit us,Call- Toll Free No 1800 102 1000
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