I feel like I have to set the scene in order to share the magnitude of possibilities that appear when we're able to quiet our mind.
Our thoughts linked to events and memories of our lives holds space in our bodies as tension. And with enough repetition, they develop physical weight and set up residency throughout our body. In the muscles, tissues and organs of our body, we create a landscaped envision by our mind. Traumas, thoughts, tension begin to carve out valleys, wells, pockets holding space. Like water that doesn't move... and unable to flow, it becomes stagnant and harmful to environment beneath the layers of your skin.
Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah... rolls off your tongue. It's about stepping back and finding peace. Allow your mind a peaceful rest stop anytime during your day. It's a modality that would take me years to access BECAUSE I didn't know anyone else doing it...
It's the chatter in our heads. It's the 6th second of the 5 Second Rule. I'm talking about. The chatter some of us wake up. The chatter some have a difficult time escaping. It's the internal voice that sounds like ourselves, but is scripted from things we've been told.
Patanali explains in the second sutra is, "If you can control the rising of the mind into ripples, you will experience Yoga."
I know I'm not alone when I say I struggled to find peace and a reprieve from thoughts making me feel stuck or captive to a cycle of thinking I wanted to break. In the past, I tried to empty my mind during meditation but the tension in my body made being still uncomfortable. I'd begin with pranayama, lengthen my time sitting still, listen to chants and binaural beats hoping these would work. This is what I was told about meditation, before I actually decided to go off and study what meditation actually was.
To understand this sutra is one thing, but to achieve it is another. Understanding it is the first step. The process to achieving it is many more consecutive, repetitious steps of effort.
I'm going to break it down in a way I that helped me to grasp what it was trying to tell me.
Yogas means union.. but in this sutra it's really about having a yogic experience.
Citta means the mind; but it isn't just the mind... it's the field of the mind. Like the playground is the mind and the thoughts are part of the playground.
Vrtti (or Vritti) is he evolution of the thoughts on the playground is there are different levels to the mind. It's not just the thoughts but the associations the mind makes.
For example, the thoughts of needing to pick up cookies for an event, then it's the type of cookies, where to get them, what kind and how to work in picking them up in my schedule. I might even think about the smell of the cookies. The smell of cookies might make me think of vanilla and coffee and then how many to get and so on... my mouth even might begin to salivate at the thought of cookies and now I find myself hungry.
The mind has many layers and complex layers just as your singular thought is not just singular but complex and multi-leveled. Even if you're not aware of your mind going down all these paths by one singular thought, your body is reacting on a physiological level. Our thoughts can trigger our bodies to experience all types of physiological responses, from changes in blood pressure and heart rate to chemical alterations in the brain.
Combining Citta Vrttis is the modifications of the mindstuff that causes a disturbance to that peace your trying to feel... the peacefulness of yoga.
Nirodhah is the restraint. It's the restraint you place on your thoughts running wild. In Yoga Nidra, we practice being able to step back and being a silent observor this allows you to NOT become an active participant to those thoughts. You've heard the saying, hindsight is 20/20. Stepping back allows you clarity, distance and peace.
Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah is THE RESTRAINT of the MODIFICATIONS of the MIND-STUFF is YOGA.
When we are able to step back from these thoughts, we have the power to reframe our thinking, alter our past perception, release trauma and reset our bodies and mind.
The more we learn about ourselves, the more we're able a path to a modality of healing for clarity, peacefulness and methods to unlock who we are to become who we want to be or become. To be content in your current self is a beautiful thing, but growth does not allow us to stand still in our lives. Everything we do begins somewhere... and if we're lucky... it never stops.
Learn more about finding peace, cultivating a more creative path to personal self alignment, releasing traumas held as tension in the body and mind