Reining in the Mind
I-2 Yogaḥ Citta-Vṛtti -Nirodhaḥ - CVN
The state called Yoga naturally arises when we continuously practice directing (nirodhaḥ) the cognitive processes (vṛtti-s) of the mind (citta) in a positive direction for a sustained period of time.
What is Nirodhaḥ? Learning How to Rein in the Wild Horses of the Mind
We learn how to reign in the mind (citta) by focussing its wild horses (vṛtti-s) in a positive direction for a sustained period of time. We need to learn how to direct these wild horses of the mind (vṛtti-s) by putting blinders on their eyes and keeping them focussed on where they are going (nirodhaḥ).These blinders (nirodhaḥ) keep us on track, moving us towards our goal of experiencing that natural state of mind-body-spirit called Yoga.
There is so much that bombards us in life. There is so much coming at us all the time as we navigate ourselves on a path leading to Joy. We need nirodhaḥ to help us focus so that we don’t get distracted by the many choices of the Disneyland world that we live in. It is so easy to get lost in the outside world of our jobs, families, relationships, activities, desires and to forget our-Selves, our radiant Selves that are calling us Home to that Heart of deep-seated Joy called Yoga.
The brilliance of Patanjali’s definition of Yoga is that he doesn’t define it in a spiritual way at all, but rather as a practice of learning how to focus the mind. All we have to do is practice reining in our mind’s wild tendencies (nirodhaḥ), to practice retreating inside of ourselves to uncover our own unique experience of spirituality. All we have to do is to go Home to rest, retreat, and be with our-Self that is just waiting to be heard, acknowledged, and revealed in all of its awakened joyful brilliance.
Yoga Sutra Journal Questions
What activities help you focus the mind to experience your radiant, joyful Heart? Can these activities be called Yoga?