What are we doing on our yoga mat? What's all this stuff about?
It's about quieting the mind. The yogis realized that in the stillness, in the silence, one of life's great questions was answered. "Who am I?" "What is the true nature of the Self?" "Am I this body, am I this mind, am I these thoughts, am I these emotions, or is there something more?" "Who am I?"
The yogis realized that in the stillness, in the silence, they experienced the answer to this question. So, all of our tools in our practice are taking us in this direction, quieting the mind.
It's like re-booting our system. Imagine you have a computer. This is your mind. Your computer uses all kinds of apps and programs to engage with and experience all kinds of amazing things. This is like your mind using your body and senses to engage with and experience all kinds of amazing things in the world.
Have you ever been sitting at your computer, though, wanting to do something, wanting to open a certain program or application but you can't because the computer has all these other applications open and it's still engaging with all of these other applications and going back and forth from one to the other and when you try to get the computer to engage with the program you want to open all you get is the little spinning Apple wheel? Some of the apps may have been open for months, or even years. They were serving you years ago but you may not even want to use them now. There's all these better apps now and programs that you want to open and use but you can't. The computer has forgotten that you are even there. It doesn't even respond to your commands. It's busy. It's caught up in the old pattern, engaging with all the old apps and programs.
You're using your yoga practice to close the apps., to re-boot the computer.
Concentration becomes a battle between you and your mind. Each time you win the battle you increase your will power. You weaken a pattern. When your concentration gets stronger, when you've let go of enough patterns, you turn inward. If you go in deep enough, you find stillness. When you find stillness, when your computer stops engaging with all the old apps that you've had open, it remembers that you are in charge.
I've watched students who start a yoga practice, do a retreat, take a training program and find stillness and do you know what happens? Their whole life changes. I've seen students quit their jobs, end relationships, find a new relationship, move out of their house, move to a new city. EVERYTHING changes! It's in the stillness, when they realize who they really are and in the stillness where the intuitive voice gets louder and your purpose becomes clear. It's in the stillness when you are able to reassert control. Your job, or your relationship may have been serving you years ago but it may have become a program that was left open too long. An old pattern. If your computer is engaging with all of these old apps there's no room for anything new. And you may not even realize your are stuck in the pattern until you find stillness.
This is the power of yoga!
It's time to wake up!
Realize the true nature of your Self. Find your purpose.
It's time to re-boot the computer. Time to let go of the old patterns. Time to quiet your mind. In the stillness, in the silence, you'll find out who you really are and this will change your life.