Beautiful mind

This last few weeks I have been dipping in and out of two books with which I am researching and studying the differences in perspective of the broad spectrum of Hatha Yoga.

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika,(HYP) which we have already looked at a bit, and "Anatomy of Hatha Yoga". (AHY)

These two books are beginning to resemble ( in my mind at least) two philosophical beings arranging the world to meet ancient and modern mindsets so to speak, in a way that appeals to most- and excites a few yoga nerds like me...
...& yes were heading towards science.. but with a philosophical slant.

AHY & HYP
A flavour of HYP:
"Thoughts, emotions and desires are not the mind, they are modifications of the mind and are like waves on the ocean. The ocean is not one little wave, or even a hundred waves. It is the total volume of water. Thoughts are the result of "vrittis" or modifications - mental movements in the subconscious and unconscious mind. All mental activities are due to the external or internal experiences which arouse the samsara or vasana*; they are not due to the mind. The mind is like a lump of clay which can be moulded into any shape. Whichever way you shape it, it is still clay." HYP. Ch2.77
"*A vasana literally means 'wishing' or 'desiring', but is used in Advaita in the sense of the sub-conscious or latent tendencies in one's nature." Wiki.

So if that's a bit dense; The fluctuations of the mind ( this will come up a lot in yoga philosophy) do not define us. Thoughts are not what we automatically attach to as "me" or "you" they are as temporary as a wave in the vast ocean.

And a taste of AHY: (referring to brain activity with regards to sensing, thinking, & doing).
"Two types of transmitter substances are released at the synapse: one facilitates (speeds up) the activity of the post-synaptic neuron. The other inhibits (slows down) the activity of the post synaptic neuron. P32 AHY
This begs the question: Do Synapses have a choice? Are they conscious in their own right? They contact and influence each other yes, however they are influenced also by what external influences are around in the body...
- like caffeine, which would favour the facilitating activity. Or having fasted, this might lean towards reserving energy and inhibit activity. (although there is an argument for this, in that there is research telling us that hunger signals to the brain to produce more "survival" techniques and boosts the production of brain cells in order to save the organism.)
Another inhibitory activity is within the practice of Yoga Nidra, where the attention of the mind recedes back to the origin of where thoughts come from, therefore inhibiting the sensory input and output of the brain, so much fewer synapses are needed & will produce a sense of de-stressing and countering the pernicious nature of stress hormones.

There are also those thoughts that make you flop in exasperation! and that feeling of looking up into the clear blue sky, like you could take an almighty drag of that pure clear colour and absorb it right into your cells!
These must also trigger facilitator synapses, and inhibitor synapses respectively. This is a massive, magical subject and yet so silent and constant, always ticking over in the background of being human.

This incredible nugget of information gives us one of the reasons why yoga nidra works, why Shavasana is so important at the end of your yoga session, why meditation is calming and important for the health of hypothalamus (the control centre of the entire body).
I think you get you gist- yoga and its sister & brother practices helps people to make it normal to rest. This helps your brain to regenerate with healthy habits for thinking and doing for the whole organism to function at is most efficient.

So I encourage you to take that siesta, maybe listen to that audio book that you dowloaded ages ago & haven't made time for.

Many of you know (because I see you walking your dogs down there) I have been known to do Qigong on Vire Island in the mornings- try it, it's so little effort and feels fantastic, true mental & physical medicine. Heres a link to a great simple springtime practice. (you don't need the volume if the sounds are a bit much)

Or if you are really stretched for time, take a deep breath, chances are it will take you only a few seconds.
A few "deep breath moments" in a day can lead to a significant practice spread out over a day. And that deep breath may just bring the balance to your synaptic processes and get you in a place of perspective with your thoughts.

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