Training – Through Mental Exercise

Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodhah – Yoga Sutra, Patanjali

Is the sutra that clears your mind.

Teacher Sree opened the training by asking the class What is Yoga?” (cue deadpan face). We shot random things, naturally. And he shared this definition – “Yoga is the removal of thought from your mind.”

HEY WAIT. That’s it? For someone who just wrote a page-long article about Asana and got introduced to Yoga through gym studios, realising that Yoga essentially is not about physical fitness was rather confronting.

And liberating, realising that there are other aspects of existence to be explored. Physical strength has not been my forte or area of interest. I thought I was doomed for practice from day 1. I didn’t know why I signed up. Then this. Is good. I might have a chance! Still was thinking simply.

Then we started learning about the quadrants of life, the different bodies and seeds that we have and some techniques. They were intended to help humans identify -> classify -> uncolour -> remove thought -> clear mind.

Yoga removes thoughts from mind. Yoga has a sutra to clear your mind. You are not your mind. Clear. Everything sounded clear, and the whole thing also came with supporting materials such as manuals, tools and step-by-step guides. Great.

Alas, once you want to start “clearing”, you don’t know where to start. If anything, rather than being “clear”, hearing this filled up my mind more. So I asked – How exactly do you do that? Which one to use when?

“Yoga doesn’t teach you anything. It makes you aware about yourself, so you can live consciously.” – Teacher Sree.

And so I exercised.

Figure it out, I did.

Slowly, but surely.