Understanding Your Mind – and How To Calm A Busy Mind
What’s on your mind?
A wonderfully simple way to settle the mind is by visualising yourself in the centre of a large and open circle. I have recorded a 3 minute meditation to help you to get into this open space and calm a busy mind… enjoy!
The natural world (macrocosm) can mirror our own inner world (microcosm) ; sometimes peaceful, calm and clear, other times stormy, turbulent and cloudy. Yoga can help you to reduce stress, increase self-awareness and become more centred and peaceful by offering you the opportunity to feel a truer sense of yourself.
Along with our physical yoga practice in classes, we are currently drawing some of the threads (sutras) from the immensely rich tapestry of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
Yoga sutra 1.2 states
Swami Vivekenanda translates this as“Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (citta) from taking various forms (vrittis)”
I have also read translations where the vrittis are termed as whirlpools!
Vrittis have been called thoughts, feelings and emotions that can cloud our heart-mind field of consciousness. They can lead to anxiety, circular thinking and a mind that is just too busy to enjoy the present moment; where life is happening right now.
Let’s take a look at the 5 types of vrittis, so that we can identify what may be pulling us away into the past and the future, or indeed keeping us clear headed. They may be good or bad, but knowing about them and acknowledging them will let you get to know yourself better and avoid anxiety and stress.
Correct evaluation (pramana)
This is the most accurate and helpful vritti. One form is correct perception, clear thinking, based on fact through our own experience or observation. Another form is inference, as in seeing smoke and inferring there is fire and the last is reliable testimony from trusted teachers and writings.
This type of vritti is the opposite and can lead to mis-understandings or even delusion, where we do not yet have all the facts and we make assumptions.
Accepting events as they occur and moving forward with a positive and hopeful attitude enables is to bypass unnecessary suffering and anxiety for we do not truly know how a situation can change, such as the blessing in disguise!
Daydreaming or fantasy can certainly lead to some creative ideas, especially mathematics and music, but we should be alert to whether these musings are helpful to us. We are said to spend up to half our waking hours daydreaming!
Here sleep is meaning deep sleep and the absence of consciousness, a state of deep rest for the mind and body, a much needed hiatus from the busyness of the world.
Here we may re-live a pleasant experience or be stirred up by something from the past.
Through yoga and meditation, we have the opportunity to observe the contents of our mind and all of the feelings and emotions that are present through the various vrittis. Our power lies in our knowledge and our ability to choose, whether our thoughts, our words or our actions and take some time each day to find some stillness and peace.
Drop me a line if you wish, I would love to hear from you.
There are still a few weeks until the end of term, finishing up last Friday in June for a week for most classes, I will keep you in the loop!
May you be well