Sunday’s at the Institute are quiet. There are no adult classes, so Prashant has decided to add a Philosophy discussion in the morning, which is nice. Yesterday we discussed the second Yoga Sutra which many of you know is the “definition of yoga” as “yoga citta vrtti nirodha” (yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of consciousness). But of course it is not so clear cut. We spent most of the hour unpacking the definition of cit and citta. How it is not just “the mind” or “the consciousness”, but the entire “mind stuff” – what Prashant also refers to as the MIND-BERG – like an iceberg, what is actually seen is only just a fraction of what is there.
After that discussion we went to lunch with a friend of Jen’s and just chilled out for most of the afternoon. Who knew that within the busy streets and buildings of Model Colony (our neighborhood here in Pune) there was such a beautiful quiet space for contemplation…this small lake and park are such a lovely escape.
Monday morning class with Prashant was more movement toward our learning yoga and not just doing yoga. He insists that we must EDUCATE OUR SELF. Know WHY we are doing anything and HOW it is useful – between the mind, the body, and the breath applications. He knows he uses language that is different or complex, but continues to remind us that if he simplified things we would just become simpletons. No need to catch EVERYTHING, and know that what you catch when you catch it is probably exactly what is needed for that time.
But, the goal of yoga must be known and the faith that we have will drive us toward that goal. Physical and mental benefit are of course byproducts of the path, but attaching to those alone will be like staying in kindergarten and never graduating to high levels of learning.
The Iyengar’s have left us with such a treasure chest of learning! Between BKS, Prashant, and Geeta, there is more than 3 lifetimes to be revealed…just another great reason to be here in Pune for such long practice times and afternoons to read.