Yoga Sutra 2: Yoga is the Calming of the Mind-Stuff

Perspective is everything, don’t you think?

A story: You are a young child, the doorbell rings and your mother asks you to get it. You get to the door and a big, tall man greets you. Your immediate thought is “Stranger danger!” You close the door and run to your mom. Your mom then opens the door with you and says, “Oh, look! It’s your Uncle Bill,” and welcomes him into your home. You then leave your mother’s side and gladly give Uncle Bill a big, welcoming hug.

The man in the door never changed. However, your perspective of him did. He went from a big, scary stranger, so a welcome part of your family. The only thing that changed was your knowledge of the man in the door, your perspective of him.

The second of the sutras, the only other we need to know for class is “Yogaś citta vṛtti nirodhah.” Sri Swami Satchidananda translates this as:

Yogah (Yogaś) = Yoga (is)

citta = of the mind-stuff, mind field

vrtti = modifications

nirodhah = restraint

So, if we put it all together, we get “The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga,” or more easily to remember for our purposes, “Yoga is the calming of the mind-stuff.”

Life is all about perspective and if we can control the mind, we will be more at peace. There are a few different ways we can learn to control the mind, which Patanjali goes over in the rest of the 200 sutras, but this second sutra covers it all.

Yoga is about so much more than just a good core workout, which is why I love it.

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