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!
Laundry, dishes, dinner, kids, work, clean house, groceries…this is literally what it is like for many of us. Our minds reflect this same behavior by jumping around just as we do trying to complete our daily tasks. It’s no wonder it leaves us feeling a little empty, agitated…always striving for something more that we will never attain…that is, until we slow the mind down enough to look inward. We hold such love and light. You hold such love and light…brilliant, unfathomable, gorgeous light. It is an amazing gift that will transform others…transform the world. I know this. How…? Because it transformed me. I searched so long, so hard. I failed so much. I longed for this beautiful love and light to come from Heaven to rescue me, but instead…I found the light within myself. If it wasn’t for the simple practice of pranayama, concentrated, intentional breath…I can surely tell you, I would have never made it to Citta, to peace, to self love as big as God. My light is so bright that I think…well, I know…I was just in the dark before. Have you ever been in the dark so long, that when you walked out into the sunlight you had to shield your eyes or even close them because it was so bright? I have. I am so bright, you are so bright. Pranayama. A simple key to quieting your mind, so that you can become aware of the amazing things unfolding within. Pranayama, the gateway to the treasure and secrets that rest within the sacred spaces of your mind.
I had lived with monkey-mind for many years, never realizing the profound & negative effect it had on my life. So I made the commitment to do my yoga practice consistently. This was not easy and it took a lot of practice, but as I focused to consciously breathe with my movement all kinds of emotions were released. As those emotions poured from my heart and soul, my tired mind became clear and calm. As my mind began looking inward, I was gradually able to let go of my attachments to some misperceptions and fears. Now after almost a year I have such gratitude for who I am, the journey that got me here and the beautiful people I have met along the way.
Oh the monkey-mind!! I’ve dealt with this always, never knowing what it was… as I’ve experienced that calm that comes with real pranayama, I want more! Most times we thrive on being busy or telling people how busy we are.. I long to have days where I am at ease with my mind, seeing more clearly those truly important things. I’m getting there. It is for certain a journey.
Practicing breath has given me more peace than I ever could have imagined! And to think, I thought yoga was just the asana when I started this year!
Thank you for the knowledge of breath and the peace and self awareness that goes with it! 😘
In learning to quiet the mind using my breath I have found more peace – if only for brief moments at a time. I am trying the hardest with my relationships and using kindness and honesty. I had an experience on the train during my commute to work this past week and even though I was trying to open my mouth and speak kindness and honesty I could not get it out. Unbelievably this same experience happened again this past week with a different person and as I sat there trying to get the kindness and honesty out (and could not) I was able to use pranayama and I came closer the second time to opening up and speaking to a complete stranger who was at the moment my teacher. Hopefully the experience does not happen in the future but, if it does, maybe I will be able to get some kind and honest words out of my mouth. 🙂