Yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind.
But what is it that makes the mind fluctuate exactly? I don’t have all the answers but I can tell you, I for one spend a lot of time being unfocused, flustered and scatter-brained. It’s near impossible to stay concentrated in our 21st century world. We’re bombarded by distractions on a constant loop, over-stimulated and overwhelmed. It becomes almost normal to feel drained of energy and inefficient when we don’t work against these worldly distractions. Yoga helps bring us back to that inner focus and remain grounded.
Yoga practice brings the mind to a state of clarity, where we can make well-informed, rational decisions. The mind undergoes a process of natural flux or rather, this instinct to take on two entities as we try to evolve ourselves. One half of the brain goes ‘okay, you’re here now and I’ll focus on you,’ while the other half of us focuses on the future self, the self we’re working towards. When we move with peacefulness and intent, the mind will work out the kinks that it needs to in order for us to get closer to that future self. Eventually, that gap between the present self and future self, comes to a close, and we move forward, or flow. This desire to expand is truly never-ending. Think of how many times a day you’re confronted with situations where you have to alter how you may want to react, or have to make a compromise in your relationships, or even how frequently you set personal goals for yourself- these all keep that impulse moving. This kind of desire to self improve, isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t make you selfish or vain; in fact, it makes you proactive in your own life.
Desire can mean we’re facing an obstacle and desire resolution. It can also mean we feel confined and desire a new experience. And those are things we should never apologize for. Desires usually come from a desire to feel better, and yoga helps us to embody that and be better; mentally, physically, spiritually. The ‘closing of the gap’ that we were talking about earlier-between the present and future self, is that fluctuation manifesting itself within us. So why resist it? Why resist desires out of fear that they won’t be reached or obtained? Each time we allow ourselves to expand to any degree, into a new self, we gain even more insight into who we want to be; and get re-inspired by the ideas that flourish towards a new, new self. We wouldn’t ever evolve without these kinds of impulses of desire. More importantly, yoga helps us move closer to that idealistic vision we have for ourselves. Centering your mind and reconnecting to your spirituality are two HUGE factors in deciphering between worldly wants and soulful wants- helping you recognize which desires are integral to you bettering yourself as a human being, which ones to encourage and which ones to strengthen.
Flux in itself is not a bad thing, but a doubtful mind and a toxic mentality is; and these happen to be the same things that hold us in a state of flux, barricading us off from the flow we’re so desperately working to achieve. Flux should be a positive thing and can be a positive thing, but it’s all about mindset. If our mindset is keeping us trapped in there, then we’re not actually growing; in fact, we’re stagnating. Yoga helps us to get ourselves out of our own way- because guess what? Ego’s favorite thing to do is tell us we’re weak and we cannot do it. Whatever that ‘it’ is. Yoga gives us a minute to focus on positive development, breathing, and an inner peace. And mostly, it eliminates the “but” that follows most of the things we want to accomplish. It rids us of our excuses and makes the transition between flux and flow something that we grow to know we can conquer.
“In a state of yoga, all misconceptions that can exist in the mutable aspect of human beings disappear.” -Patanjali Yogasutra