Patanjali’s yoga sutras are some powerful verses. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is one of the most popular yoga books and a required read in almost every Yoga Teacher Training Program. Patanjali is credited for actually transcribing these verses and yoga philosophy for the modern world to understand. To say yogis owe him would be an understatement.

“Yoga chitta vritti nirodaha,” also known as verse 1.2 of Patanjali’s yoga sutras translates to: “Yoga is the removal of the fluctuations of the mind,” or “Yoga is the conscious control of the mindstuff.”

Say what? What’s this “mind stuff?” Imma tell you! Let’s break down the Sanskrit verse shall we?

Yoga: union/to join

Chitta: subconscious mind/storehouse of memory/where impressions are made AKA “mindstuff”

Vritti: whirlpool/disturbances of the mind

Nirodaha: removal

So it’s nothing new to you and I that there is A LOT of chatter in the mind and a lot of “stuff” up there. Sometimes it serves it, most of the time it may not. Yoga isn’t just a physical practice of asana (postures). It’s constantly checking in with your conscious and subconscious mind to put your ego aside to do what best serves you and others.

How do I do this? I got ya covered, below are a few practical examples.
  1. When your practicing yoga and you just can’t get into that pose you feel like you need to. Instead of thinking “damn, I’m not good enough or this needs to happen,” think “my body may be fatigued today because I’ve been working so hard, my body is amazing, it helps me live a complete life.”
  2. When you get into a squabble with a coworker, your partner or a roommate instead of popping off because you’re ego claims that you’re right and they are wrong, try to see things from their perspective. If you react in a way that is in the best interest of both of you, it may be more beneficial in the long run. Often times our ego causes us to act on our emotions, which rarely ends well.
  3. When you make a mistake and automatically disregard your worth, stop and logically give yourself credit for everything you have accomplished and done right.

I hope meditating on Patanjali’s YogaSutra 1.2 gives you peace and allows you to practice YOUR yoga.