Yogas citta vritti nirodhah
Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind
– Yoga Sutra 1.2
Sutra 1.2 says yoga is the stilling of the mind fluctuations. The second sutra gives a definition of yoga, but it’s also an instruction on how to achieve yoga, or enlightenment. Yoga can only happen when the mind is still, but the entire practice is about learning how to still the mind. It’s the mental act of allowing everything to be exactly as it is. Not thinking about the what if, should and could have. It’s a feat that’s harder than it sounds! Thinking is our way of rationalizing and deconstructing the world around us. It takes practice to loosen our grip on our judgments, definitions, and constructions. We feel the need to piece together the universe, presumably so we can feel more secure, but we actually don’t need to do that. It’s already there and it’s perfect. Start to think about what else you need in this moment. If you think about it long enough I’m sure you could come up with a very long list… but try not think. Close your eyes and take five deep breaths.
The first sutra is powerful because it tells us where to begin – right now, always. The second sutra follows it up by telling us what to do – nothing.