Sutra 1.11 'Yogah citta vritta nirodah'
Translation - 'Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind'
Lord Patanjali in his 196 sutras on the art, science and philosophy of yoga
Sama Veda-Chandogyopanishad 'Tat Tvam Asi'
Translation - 'Thou Art That' - 'You are the Divine Spirit'
The practice of yoga is to bring union from our indiviual soul to unite fully with the universal soul.
On a practical level how do we achieve this?
Lord Patanjali in his 196 sutras on the art, science and philosophy of yoga and the great and ancient wisdom of the Vedas has given us the tools to do just that.
As the body is the greatest manifestation of our subtlest being, our soul, asanas (postures) are the place to start from. Working through the asanas in a mindul and present way helps to calm the mind and focus it on the task at hand - a particular asana. Over time this training of connecting the mind, body and breath brings stability and a sense of freedom and presence inside. The next step Lord Patanjali then states in his 196 sutras is pranayama (breath control). Pranayama, when practiced mindfuly has a deeply transformative affect on all levels of our being. It is a powerful tool for these stressful times to keep an objective mind and even emotions, assisting us in re-connecting to our deeper and unchanging selves, our Divine Spirit.
Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses into the mind) and Dharana (concentration/mind control) are also practiced at the experienced levels of yoga, as these are more subtle and require daily practice.
However Mantra, the repeating of sacred words, is a form of Dharana (concentration) and can be practiced by anyone.
The most revered and sacred of these in the Vedas, referred to as the Mother of All Mantra's is, the Gayatri mantra.
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