Yoga sutra 1.35 visyavati va pravrttih utpanna manasah sthiti nibandhani

“Or, by contemplating an object that helps to maintain steadiness of mind and consciousness.”

The sutra gives another method for steadying the mind to overcome or prevent obstacles to yoga practice. During asana practice the dristi point gives us a place to settle our eyes and our mind for a few breaths. Of course as we move through the many asana poses the dristi changes.

One can conjure an image in the mind whenever concentration or calmness of mind is needed. Just close the eyes and imagine something meaningful to you. I often think of my cats during times when I feel overwhelmed or upset. I choose this image because I always smile when I picture them which allows a softening in my heart as well as an image for my mind to focus on.

When I am at home I stare at a lotus flower to center and calm the mind. Again this object has a dual purpose for me. I have something to concentrate on and I find inspiration when I think of how the lotus flower blooms out of murky, dirty water. I feel calmed knowing that it blooms because blooming is it’s purpose and it can’t do anything but bloom. It helps to calm my mind at times of uncertainty and angst regarding the future, or my purpose. I can know that all I need to do is breathe and I am fulfilling my purpose, and if I breathe with concentration for long enough I forget all but my breath.