WHAT IS YOGA?
Big question that one, and maybe the answer is different for different people, however, yoga can be seen as the science of the mind.
In the ancient texts of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, the goal of yoga is"
"The restraint of the modifications of the mind" - or
"Yogas città vrtti nirodhah".
The ability to control our mind by keeping it clear and free of distractions, ego and desires; those bits that often cloud our thoughts and sometimes lead us away from our original state.
The physical practise of yoga which combines movement and awareness of breath, is a means by which we start to focus our attention and hopefully start to turn off our monkey-minds. Learning to be still and quiet within our own mind is the challenge of yoga and one that needs plenty of practise!
BOOKS TO READ
The Yama & Niyamas - Deborah Adele
Light on Yoga - BKS Iyengar
The Heart of Yoga - TKV Desikchar
How Yoga Works - Geshe Michael Roach (one of my favourites!)
Ashtanga Yoga - David Swenson
WORDS OF WISDOM
My soul honours your soul.
I honour the place in you where the entire universe resides.
I honour the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you, because it is also within me.
In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.
- Lokah Samantha, Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings be free and happy
"When the breath wanders or is irregular, the mind is also unsteady, but when the breath is still in the mind, the yogi lives long. So one should restrain the breath."
- Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Breathing in, I know i am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know as the in-breath grows deep, the out-breath grows slow.
Breathing in makes me calm. Breathing out make me ease.
With the in-breath, I smile. With the out-breath, I release.
Breathing in, there is only the present moment.
Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.
May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.