धारणासु च योग्यता मनस: I
dhāraṇāsu ca yogyatā manasaḥ
And (ca) the mind (manasaḥ) is ready (yogyatā) for concentration (dhāraṇāsu).
PRACTICAL LIVING As the mind calms through the practice of conscious breathing (prāṇāyāma) and the cloud surrounding our innermost potential is removed (see sūtra II.52), we have the ability to focus without distraction. In chapter I, Patañjali listed suggestions of what we can do to understand and calm the mind in sūtras I.32-I.39. One of those suggestions was to practice prāṇāyāma in sūtra I.34. Here we are reminded of the power of the breath. As the mind lets go of agitation and finds ease, the ability to dive into more subtle practices becomes more feasible.
Sūtra II.29 lists the eight limbs of Yoga. Though they do not have to be followed in order necessarily, they are listed in order of gross to subtle: relationships, lifestyle, body, breath, senses, concentration, meditation and complete absorption. As our relationships become kinder and more honest, our life is filled with gratitude and growth, our bodies are healthy and our breath calms the mind, then we can practice the other limbs with more joy and fulfillment.
IN THE YOGA WORLD In Yoga, there are different words and concepts to refer to the mind:
- Manas – the mind that learns, thinks and behaves according to the messages it receives from the senses
- Ahamkara – the ego and the one who identifies with certain roles and defines who we we think we are
- Buddhi – the discriminating mind
- Citta – the closest level of the mind to our innermost wisdom, the one that has the ability to see things clearly, the big picture – the tunnel connecting the external mind to the soul.
Here Patañjali tells us that through the consistent practice of conscious breathing, we can calm the monkey-mind (manas) and train it to look inward as opposed to always looking outward.
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON It is profound to experience calmness of the mind through the breath. Heather has. As she has expressed, she has just learned to breathe as an adult, like most of us. It is beautiful to listen to her, a powerful woman – a devoted mother, a hard worker, wife, community leader – talk about the influence that observing and learning how to lengthen her breath has had over her. With the openness of a curious child and the dedication of a Yogini, she now knows a practical and easy tool to bring peace to her life. Heather, your appetite for life inspires me. Your senses are open to learning and your heart is responding by blossoming into an even more beautiful version of yourself. Thank you for being you. Love you!
Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!
Thanks and next week we will discuss the senses!