Yoga sutra iii.9 “vyutthana nirodha samskaryoh abhibhava pradurbhavau nirodhaksana cittanvayah nirodhaparinamah”

“Study of the silent moments between rising and restraining subliminal impressions is the transformation of consciousness towards restraint (nirodha parinamah).”

I have been told I have a “monkey mind” because it swings from thought to thought occasionally screaming out loudly while in mid air. Does this sound familiar, if not you maybe someone you know?  Do you ever notice the internal conversation you are having about what you should have for dinner, why am I wearing this today, did I pay that bill etc.  Okay your internal conversations may be different than mine but I am confident you are either having them or just had one.

Yoga, is union. I used to think it was union of the body and the mind, i.e. having them both in the same place at the same time so I could stand on one foot while having everything else suspended in the air.  But I am beginning to understand that it is really the union of the different attributes of the mind.  What some may call being “in the moment”.

Yoga sutra iii.9 sounds like a complicated commitment to hard work bringing the mind under control by restraining the consciousness.  We are able to do it while performing asanas if at least for the five or so breaths we experience a pose.  We concentrate on our dristi and not falling over etc.  Maybe we experience this silent moment while practicing pranayama if we are not focusing on our counting and can just feel the breath or the emptiness that follows an exhale.  Obtaining these silent moments requires a little more mental work when we experience them during dharana and dhyana but this is where the transformation occurs.  Restraining our thoughts during asana and pranayama is the training we need to be able to understand the restraint necessary to study these silent moments, when we are just sitting doing nothing because we are concentrating on meditating. Transformation of consciousness is when we are able to have periods of silence that become longer in duration and happen more frequently leading to samadhi or union.