What is Yoga Mind?

How can standing upside down on one’s head be related to psychology, which is the scientific study of the human mind?? This truth is a little known fact about what is yoga. Far from the notion in popular culture of it being physical posture, yoga is a state of being. The term is used to describe two aspects. First, it means ‘union’ with the supreme energy. Now, before you balk at the spiritual/religious roots of this, it needs to be understood that the term ‘Yoga’ is also used to refer to the techniques used to reach this state of mental calmness. So, although it can be argued as spiritual by some, in another sense it is not spiritual at all, but simply a set of techniques or tools.

Yoga-Mind is, fundamentally, a process of strengthening. This is achieved by nurturing, understanding, and quietening the mind through the techniques of Yoga compatible with cognitive, behavioral, existential, psychoanalytic, and mindfulness approaches.

Interestingly, the ancient treatises on Yoga written in Sanskrit language starting with a detailed micro-level explanation of the make up the inner world of the human mind. They then proceed to explain the origin of thoughts, emotions, feelings, and perceptions. There are several techniques, similar to many Western therapies, to help strengthen the mind. Techniques to take control of one’s emotions, to monitor thoughts, to change the quality and quantity of the thought processes, so as to bring these in alignment with ‘right thinking and right action’ are built into the comprehensive system of Yoga. In the yoga literature, these are referred to in different ways such as Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Kriya Yoga, and Ashtanga Yoga. ‘Yoga-Mind Psychology’ is an application of yoga based constructs into the mainstream psychology/therapy field, based on the combination of my study and training in various schools of yoga.