Sutra 2.53: dharanasu cha yogyata manasah
And the mind is now prepared for the process of direction toward a chosen goal. Translation and interpretation by TKV Desikachar
And the mind attains the ability to concentrate, to focus its attention.Translation by Swami Venkatesananda
And the mind attains the ability to concentrate, to focus its attention – V
Will you play a focusing game with me?
Light a candle.
Focus your eyes on the flame for one minute.
How was that? Not so easy was it? My mind would wander to lunch in about 5 seconds.
Now try this.
Light a candle. Allow a steady flame to establish.
Sit yourself comfortably in front of the flame.
Take your time to find that comfort. Do some stretches if you need. Get props to make sitting easier. Make sure your spine is supported – either by your muscle tone (strength) or by a wall.
Calm your breath.
To do this, think of matching the length of your inhale to the length of your exhale. You don’t need to count unless that calms you – an approximation is good.
Once you’ve established a steady rhythm for your breath, focus your eyes on the flame again, and stay focused for 10 breaths.
How’d it go?
Sutra 2.53 says it should have been easier to stay focused. But if it wasn’t it, don’t give up on lil’ ol’ 2.53 – it takes time and practice to know a comfortable and steady posture, to learn to control the pace and length of your breath, to access tools that allow the mind to show what it to can do to grow still and steady.
It may also be that for you, the steadiness of mind is less a challenge than the steadiness of body and breath, and that version 1 made you feel greater calm than version 2.
Happily, they’re unequivocally linked, and whichever way you tackle it, the stillness is within reach.
Hari om tat sat!
Experience your true self and bring it into every moment of your living!
The Yoga Sutras are a classical text on yoga–a guidebook of sorts.
Each week, 216 teacher Esther Palmer dives into one of the sutras and we let it take us where it takes us.