September 10th, 2018 | 37 mins 8 secs
hatha yoga, meditation, yoga teacher training
Kaṭha Upaniṣad is a sacred text from the Upaniṣad that describes yoga as a state of mind after the wild horses of the senses have been reined in. There is a metaphor of the body as a chariot, and horse-driven chariots were an important part of Hindu culture, so the metaphor resonated strongly in medieval India. Harnessing all of the mental energies–not letting your mind become your master, but becoming the master of your mind–is an important inner technology that many yoga traditions emphasize. When the mind is not running the show, I find that my perception actually becomes more beautiful, deeper. I see things more crisply and find beauty in unexpected places, including painful or dark situations. I'm able to extract more joy, inspiration, and meaning out of life. Our inner discernment of experiences and awareness is foundational to yoga traditions. We need to encourage a more historical awareness–one that focuses one's ability to discern between many different extremes in yoga traditions, and understanding their fundamental orientations, outlooks, and practices. That's something that's missing in the broader, popular world of yoga practice today.