Patanjali is a yogi from ancient times that codified the principles of yoga from the mythical stories in Bhagavad Gita.
The Bhagavad Gita is a story of Krishna and Arjuna, Guru and Disciple. As the story goes, Pantanjali interpreted the stories and wrote what is known as the Sutras.
There are 196 Sutras. These tenants or guiding principles are a guide to behavior, action, and thinking. They are particularly useful for those suffering from trauma or stress, to quiet wondering thoughts and apprehension from thinking caused by Avidya: thoughts influenced by ego, desire, aversion and fear.
The Sutras construct the branch of Raja or king yoga that may be practiced as in asana practice as Ashtanga yoga. The Sutras guide the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga and can be applied to the other limbs as well.
In its simplest form, all yoga is a practice that quiets the mind. Yoga meditation is a practice to quiet the mind. I help guide you to find that quite place within. I welcome a group to practice together.
The second Sutra is as follows.
- yogaḥ = (nom. sg. m. from yoga) yoga
- citta = (iic.) all that is mutable in human beings; thoughts
- vr̥tti = (iic.) thought-wave; mental modification; mental whirlpool; a ripple in the chitta. A vritti alters perception like a misconception, or as waves on the surface of a pond obscure or distort our view of the bottom.
- nirodhaḥ = (nom. sg. m. from nirodha) to find tranquility; to control
The practice consists of sitting quietly, focusing on the breath: inhale and exhale. It takes time to develop a consistent mediation practice.
There are obstacles. Attention and intention are critically important. Mindfulness, kindness, compassion , and empathy are examples of intention or thought to assist in quieting the upset mind. Sitting still can be challenging if not un-comfortable. We start slowly with as short as one-periods of quiet, stillness and sitting.
The goal is to extend periods of meditation to upwards of an hour. That is very difficult and challenging. But as with everything yoga, you can always begin again.