The illusive mind

Friday, 14 August 2020 15:16
“Mind is the most corrupted agent there is. It can find answers and reasons for everything. It can justify anything.”
(Dr Martina Ziskova, Neurologist/Ayurvedic Practitioner in Agniyogana: The Path of Hatha Yoga Documentary 2019)
The mind is illusive. You can’t take a hold of it. It slips through your grip. It doubts, wonders and questions everything. Basically, our minds need taming. They need to be kept under control otherwise your mind is a major obstacle to your progress. In yogic philosophy/psychology the mind is called manas and it is only one part of the 3 aspects that make up the citta or consciousness. The other 2 are intellect (buddhi) and the ego (ahamkara). 
BKS Iyengar describes the individual aspects of citta:
“a) mind (manas, that is the individual mind having the power and faculty of attention, selection and rejection; it is oscillating and indecisive faculty of the mind).
b) intelligence or reason (buddhi, that is the decisive state which determines the distinction between things) and 
c) ego (ahamkara, literally, the I-maker, the state which ascertains ‘I know’.” (Light on Yoga, Thorsons, p.2)
Most importantly: “Yoga is the method by which the restless mind is calmed and the energy directed into constructive channels.” (BKS Iyengar, Light on Yoga, p.2)
OK, sounds pretty good, eh? But how do we do it?
Socrates says “Know thyself”.
Learn how you think and function by watching and listening to your mind. And with that focus the practice of asana and pranayama become a fascinating journey between the interaction of the body, mind and the intellect. It is complex and infinite and has be experienced. It is forever changing and as you may have heard me say when teaching, it’s important to be in today’s asana.  What you experience today brings you into the present, devoid of the past nor projecting into the future. Potentially your experience is an unfolding of your consciousness, penetrating your layers to your soul. It is done with uninterrupted practice. As the Sutra 1.14 states:
“Long, uninterrupted, alert practice is the firm foundation for restraining the fluctuations.” (BKS Iyengar, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Thorsons, p.64.
We start with the body as it’s tangible. The mind persuades the body to do a posture, as Geeta Iyengar says “The body relates its pain to the mind and the mind provides the solution. The body and mind introduce themselves to their friend the intelligence. This is known as Parichayavastha and intimate knowledge is the outcome.” (Article “The Involvement of Consciousness in Yogasanas” reprinted in Yoga Rahasya Special 80th Birthday Edition Vol A, p.116)
Get on your mat, intimate knowledge is the outcome :)
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