Books in the bookcase leading me to read. Apt quote around my Yoga group this evening. ” The mind is part of a team, along with the body, the breath and the senses. Everything that we do is a product of that team, but the mind is generally the boss……..We know that the state of the mind affects the breath and, luckily for us, the opposite is also true”
What are we Seeking – TKV Desikachar
“While it is theoretically possible for the body, the breath, and the mind to work independently, it is the purpose of Yoga to unify their movement. In our very first practice classes, we will experience this unification. What appears as Yoga to an outsider is mainly the physical aspects of our practice. They will not be aware of how we breathe, how we feel the breath, and how we coordinate breathing with physical movement.”
With plenty of focus on Mindfulness today, Mindlessness is crucial to our mental health too. Spacing out out from time to time is beneficial for our psychological health, during these periods creative insights happen.
Some excerpts from an article by Paul Harvey outlining the viniyoga (application) of prāṇāyāma from a Rāja Yoga and a Haṭha Yoga perspective.
“In the Rāja Yoga approach, as delineated in texts such as the Yoga Sūtra, the practice of Prāṇāyāma is focused around developing and refining the principles of attention, timing and number of breaths.
The fruits of this approach are a reduction in confusion (Yoga Sūtra C2 v52) and fitness for the first steps in the meditative process (Yoga Sūtra C2 v53) towards cultivating an experience of being filled with a subtle sense of stillness (Yoga Sūtra C1 v3).
“In the Haṭha Yoga approach, as delineated in texts such as the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā, the practice of Prāṇāyāma is focused around developing and refining the principles of using two primary channels (īḍā and piṅgalā) through a variety techniques to effect a śodhana (clearing of blockages) of the nāḍī (channels for prāṇa).”
“…..the practice of Prāṇāyāma links the student to the more refined aspects of dhāraṇā (concentration) and dhyānam (meditation) as a seated practice.”
The following is an extract from an article by Gary Kraftsow from Yoga International the Yoga Magazine published by the Himalayan Institute. The article demonstrates how Yoga teaches us to lift ourselves out of stress, anxiety and depression, and move towards a deeper sense of self.
“Yoga teaches us that we aren’t our feelings or our symptoms but live in multidimensional relationship with them. One way to grasp this paradox is to picture the Self (purusha or pure, undifferentiated awareness) as pervading all nine interlocking and interdependent spheres of influence without being any one of them. The first three spheres correspond to our moods, thoughts, and behaviors and, where they overlap, our sense of self or svabhava. These spheres profoundly affect—and are affected by—our memory, unconscious conditioning, and by the fourth sphere, our physiology, particularly our autonomic nervous system (ANS). The remaining five spheres represent our anatomy and our relationships with family, society, the world, and the entire cosmos”