1.2 yogah cittavritti nirodhah
One of the most significant definitions of Yoga: “Yoga is the cessation (fluctuations) of mental modifications of the mind.” this sutra brings us to understand why do we practice Yoga. Three words, without wasting time on long explanations, just in three words you can learn what and why we practice Yoga, why Yoga is a way of life.
So, what are those modifications or fluctuations of the mind?! As my teacher love to say, its a monkey chatter in your head))) that takes your attention away from the present moment! You are living the present in the past or the future , but not in the Present. Remember, when you are in the yoga class, or doing your home practice, your mind swift to the thinking of what you will have for dinner, or the gossip your friend told you about other friend, and chattering continue, and you cant actually practice any of Yoga, because you are absent in the present. Happened with everyone, I am sure)) To quiet the chatter, the thoughts, and go back to the present, to the Now, can be really challenging, sometimes impossible. Thats why many practitioners give up the meditation part, as it becomes very hard for them, and they just quit, simply quit.
But with practice, over time, quieting these modifications/ fluctuations starts to feel natural, even effortless. Space opens up in our minds as we learn to remain focused on the breath, the body, the moment. Thats where you can gain understanding of this sutra, understand of what is fluctuations, understand that Yoga will give you many tools to quite your mind, to help you to be in the present.
Complete stoppage of all chitta vrittis…samadhi can be attained… What is the chitta? Its the sum total of a personality. Its senses, the mind, the subtler energies, ego sense – 17 components))) About components will write later in one of the articles.
What are the vrittis? Its various activities that have to be controlled ( pramana or right knowledge, viparaya or wrong knowledge, imagination or vikalpa, sleep or nidra, and memory or smriti). Only then can the objective of Yoga be realized.
What is nirodha? Its a complete stoppage of thinking))
We integrate; we don’t banish thoughts or repress memories or emotions. We free ourselves from the turmoil that the vrittis cause by training the mind to observe, discern, and detach through asana, pranayama, meditation, and other yogic practices.
Love and Light!