Friday, March 05, 2010

WHAT IS YOGA?




(Hint: It's not asana - the poses).




Dharma sometimes begins a class or worshop by saying that yoga is the settling of the mind into silence. This is a variation on the second Yoga Sutra: yogash chitta vritti nirodhah (Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind). And once the mind is quiet, we can remember who we really are.

This quote, from the Divine Life Society's daily reading on Thursday, builds on that idea:


Yoga provides the lost link between man and the infinite. To realise once again his everlasting oneness with the Divine is actually the practice of Yoga.

-Swami Chidananda



What's your definition of yoga?

9 comments:

  1. OLDDUDE1:30 PM

    What's left after the tiresome, whining victim has left the house.

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  2. Wow!

    (I take it you mean the mind).

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  3. breath & breathing. remembering to breathe when you run into difficulty.

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  4. TRUE YOGI8:20 AM

    I have a question, whatwith the non-attachment that yoga teaches,
    why do certain yoga studio owners drive very fancy cars, such as Audi's, BMW's and Mercedes?

    And you drive a simple car with crank up windows?

    You are much closer to the ideal than they are.

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  5. I think yoga for me is sticking to the discipline, no matter what the mind & ego have to say about it. It's the same sort of continual return to focus that happens over & over in formal meditation.

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  6. Anonymous1:37 PM

    Yoga is not about the car. It is also realizing that the yoga teacher with the Beemer is as divine as the yoga teacher w/o one. I do not know if the teacher with the Beemer is attached to it or not, and even if I did, who am I to judge? It's all maya anyway. :)

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  7. True, no one can say who is there and who is not. An external show of poverty can be just that.

    What one *can* do is watch the teacher.

    As Chandra Om once said,

    “If you are going to be a yoga teacher, you have to be a yogi,” said Chandra Om, Dharma’s senior disciple. “Teaching yoga is not part-time, it’s not a profession, it’s not a business and it’s not logos.

    “You cannot teach what you have not personally experienced. You cannot teach spiritual knowledge unless you have some yourself. You cannot straighten out another until you have straightened yourself, so you really have something to say. Teaching is information passing through you--that’s why it’s not about you, or your personality.

    "You’re transmitting your personal environment. Once you’ve cleaned up your own self, you give up your personality and ego and who you think you are, so God can pass through you and use you, so your lower self does not get in the way.”

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  8. What does "Yogash chitta vrtti nirodhah.(YS I.2) really mean ?

    For me, it's the mind control.

    Yoga is, in a word, the mind control.

    If the mind is under control, you can reach the "abolition of EGO", then "Shantih".


    With metta

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  9. olddude7:47 PM

    I often trick myself about this mind but it seems to enjoy it so I I just watch, slightly amused and slightly angered. Recently it struck me that if there are words there are flucuations. As if we needed another reason not to talk to ourselves.

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