Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra I.2: “Yoga is that by which we still the fluctuations of the mind”.
I was listening to a radio interview in which the woman, a
writer, shared that she could only write with the television sound on. “I can’t
write in silence- there are too many voices. I have to drown out the voices
with more voices.”
Yoga practice gives us another path: “A positive and aware
choice that filters out by selective concentration all that is irrelevant to
one’s intention.” (Doug Keller, The Heart of the Yogi)
Finding balance on one foot in vrksasana, tree pose, my mind
can fluctuate in many ways. I have been distracted by looking around the room
to see how others are balancing. My thoughts get pulled out of the pose by
hunger, fatigue, a grocery item I don’t want to forget. My mind too, has lost attentiveness by the opposite; my body finding balance and I being so captivated there I tune out the cue to move onto the next pose.
And then, I notice my thoughts are elsewhere. I respond by
bringing my focus back to the teacher’s voice, to my breath, to my body. This
commitment brings me to the stillness, for a moment. Another moment, another
return of distraction, replaced again by attentiveness.
We will explore this attention to our intention of balancing
in vrksasana this week. What remains relevant to maintain equilibrium? What can
we filter out for the duration of the practice, letting it wait until we are