The modern practice (last 100-200 years) of yog also referred as yoga, is more inclined and influenced from the physical aspect and practice. However, yog is an internal practice guiding one to explore within. Yog gives you opportunities to go further and dive deeper, this exploration creates opportunities and comes together with responsibility towards oneself. In patanjali yog sutra (PYS) and life sutra, it is stated that all beings in this universe have sense and their own nature, so does our body. This very nature of ourselves is referred as Dharma. To follow dharma we should be respectful to all living (including our own body) and non-living beings and we should practice to remain same in all situation. This practice is called Samanta or Samtva Bhav (treating everything equally in this universe).
For a novice practitioner of Yog the question will be:
Q – How can I bring this Samtva bhav in my yoga practice?
I would say, in modern world of technology and busier lifestyle, yog is adapted as a tool of physical practice and given more importance to its external appearance which catches ones eye. And, we often try to work on our body without paying attention to the mind, the breath, and the thoughts. And we become partial towards our body and its looks. Therefore, we should start paying attention to others too and practice to give respect. We pay respect to everyone in same manner only when we are being impartial.
Q – How to be impartial in your practice?
Being impartial, it literally means that you should watch yourself in every action and how they affect other around you. The moment you start looking after your practice and question within, am I only doing asana that catches my attention and is cool to do? And gave more importance to that asana. From that point you have a clear path to follow. Since, the purpose of yog practice is to unify our actions, thoughts, and word to achieve a higher state of being. The impartiality should be the aim of once yog practice regardless of what posture I do or in which state of the mind I am while performing it, and that will signify the single mindedness in roots of our practice.
Q – What are the benefits of single mindedness?
Let’s put it this way, with two minds, the Avidya arises and that is the root cause of all the obstacles we face while working towards reaching a higher state of being.
According to PYS 2.3, Avidya leads to:
Asmita – Ego Raga – Attachment Devesa – Refusal, Abhinivesa – Fear
Furthermore, we bring discrimination and differences in our own yog practice. Whereas, the practice of yog aims to bring coordination, integration, and clearer thoughts (PYS 1.2) in once mind. So when we practice, we become impartial without creating room for Asmita, Raga, Devesa, and Abhinivesa. This will implement an immediate, direct, and clear visible sense of contained practice.
That’s how single mindedness will benefits us by fading away our
doubts and unclear vision to see a clear path. By this point of view, we understand the importance of being contained in our practice, being respectful to ourselves and the whole universe. And how to create harmony within mind and body through yoga practice.
Love and Peace to you all.