Sutra 3.10: tasya prashanta vahita samskarat
The mind’s undisturbed flow occurs due to samskaras. Translation by Edwin Bryant
Last week, I shared a bit of my own development of restricting samskaras (patterns, habits). All of the things I mentioned –time of practice, daily asana, daily meditation– and many more aspects within them are all tools of yoga. There are tools to steady behavior (such as the time of day I set aside for my practice), body (the cultivation of asana that balance my physical strengths + limitations), and mind (using techniques of meditation that make this possible rather than daunting!). You can target each of these areas directly, and sometimes that is best, though for many of us, addressing one will open up an access point to another, whether expectedly or unexpectedly.
A mind that feels out of your control may be soothed with physical exertion or relaxation, after which you might then be able to make use of more “direct” tools to continue quelling noisy thoughts. Someone without grace and prowess in the body may discover a willingness to move, to take on a physical practice through the right words, perhaps psychological “trickery,” perhaps philosophical analogy, perhaps a linking between body and behavior that intrigues him. A pattern of behavior that is hard to change, may be dissolved by making a new pattern into a game of mental or physical engagement that pulls your focus each time, and eventually replaces the old behavior. Yoga, the philosophy, invites you to observe clarity (viveka) by building samskaras of mental restraint – but how you get there is part of your unique story.
We all have samskaras in our behaviors, body, and mind. Some serve our happiness and some don’t. The tools of yoga help illuminate which are which. Once that begins to sort itself out, you can move towards samadhi (viveka through pure consciousness) by building samskaras that create quiet (there will always be choice and hard work involved, it just may not be where you expect it).
Everyday, any day, you can take the steps to set yourself up for the peace of mind and sense of self that is very truly within you.
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.