VITARKA BADHANE PRATIPAKSA BHANVANAM
“When presented with disquieting thoughts or feelings, cultivate an opposite elevated attitude”
Patanjali’s Yoga sutras 2:33
Our lives are filled with many ups and downs. When we are disturbed by negative thoughts or difficult situations how can we reflect upon the positive aspect of our existence to help remove these negative thoughts.
In Patanjali’s yoga sutras he gives us the tools to help us with all the difficulties of life and tells us how to cultivate these positive thoughts. The second of the Yoga Sutras, “Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodhah”, roughly translates as “Yoga is calming the thought waves of the mind.”
This Nirodhah (mastered) state of mind is the goal of Yoga. To suppress our thoughts and emotions is not healthy and this is not what mastering the mind means. Can we calm the mind space so our attention moves inward, or beyond the stream of inner impressions?
Finding a positive or calmer mind space can be challenging for all of us, especially if we feel our families or our livelihoods are being threatened. It requires being able to take step back from the emotional situation to try and see things more clearly. In Yoga we try to calm the thought waves of the mind using the many techniques that are available to us.
Make a little time each day to sit and just focus on the breath, wherever the breath goes the mind will follow. Watch the flow of the breath just for a few moments encouraging the mind to follow the stead rhythm of your breath. It’s so simple….. all you have to do is practise.
Image: Buddha image from istock
Book reference: Sri Swami Satchidananda – “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” (published by Integral Yoga Publications)
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