A yoga state of mind is being able to view life in a detached manner. Not detached as in “don’t care” but detached as in not being swept away and blinded by emotions. You might think it’s weird that I promote a yoga state of mind, being the person who is pro-feelings and pro-emotions as a way of life. But there’s no contradiction here. I am pro feeling what you’re feeling and being aware of the emotions that can run through you like thunderstorms. The key is – as usual – awareness. To be a victim of emotions or feelings is something completely different from allowing them to be there and learning from them. All our feelings tells us something about ourselves. When you start questioning your reactions, not in a resistant way, more like a curious explorer, you’ll find that when the avalanche of justifying reasons for your reaction has abated and you dig a little deeper, the reason was nothing at all what you thought at first sight. We have been taught how to react and in many cases it’s not very efficient nor is it adding to our overall harmony.
Take disappointment for example. Something turns out quite differently from what you expected. You feel disappointment. You may even start a story in your head: nothing ever goes my way, I hate it, people are always disappointing me, I feel powerless, god this is irritating, what’s wrong with the world…”. This reaction comes with a churning in the pit of your stomach, higher pulse, a sinking feeling followed by a decrease in energy. It’s OK to feel disappointed, but after the initial sensation, it’s enough. The disappointment isn’t something that is necessary to get stuck in, just because things didn’t turn out the way you expected them to. There is also a possibility that you might react with joy, surprise, pleasure or just neutral delight at the turn of events. It isn’t a law that forces you to feel disappointed. Remember Edison, every time his attempts didn’t work – he just wrote it off as one step closer to the solution since he had found yet another way that didn’t work. That’s sort of summarizes having a yoga state of mind.
Set the intention this morning to practice a yoga state of mind. See yourself as the “traveller”, someone who is more than just a physical body, someone who is actually travelling in this body, who explores the experience of being human, of learning about the world outside, who observes what happens even within this excellent vehicle of transportation. Notice the sensations, but don’t get caught in them, watch what happens around you, observe other people’s expressions, actions and communication detached from your usual chattering mind. You’ll find that your day takes on a more fluid quality, a flow, not interrupted by anger, irritation, frustration or stress.
Your mind is very mechanical and repetitious and if you let your mind rule your day you’ll wind up having a repetition of previous days. Your “programs” will run on automatic and there is no chance of experiencing anything as new and exciting. To develop and shift to a yoga state of mind can happen in just a few seconds, to keep this high state of awareness, can take a life-time. Your mind will constantly try to get back in the driver’s seat and that’s OK, but YOU are the one who is in charge. The mere activity of questioning your own thoughts is the first step into a yoga state of mind. Do it for fun, do it for your own pleasure. You’ll be amazed at all the things you up til now thought you “KNEW” which by observing them might turn out to be nothing but a false belief, based on something you experienced once in your childhood. It’s liberating.
You don’t need to sit in the Lotus position being all grave and serious about it. This is something you can do anytime in any position :). The more you get into this habit, the more you’ll develop a sense of humor, laughing out loud at all the stuff you used to think was IMPORTANT. Before you know it you’ll be greeting each day with a wise smile. Be a Buddha, be a smiling Buddha!