A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate
Yoga identifies three constituent parts to our consciousness (citta). They are mind (manas), ego (ahamkara), and intelligence (buddhi). The role of mind is to interact with the world, gather information. Ego gives one a sense of self. When one aspect of consciousness expands, the others contract. In yoga, we are working to expand the buddhi aspect characteristics include the ability to observe and to make conscious choices/to discriminate.
‘Me,’ ‘my,’ and ‘mine’ are labels by which we mentally and emotionally separate ourselves from the rest of existence. Release the Grip of the Ego.
Pranayama/Breath Awareness can calm and quiet the mind. The inhalation is a gift to bring a feeling of alertness and bring courage in challenging times. The exhalation allows for a letting go of tensions of the body and mind. It quiets the mind and pacifies the ego.
Echo Exhalation. Exhale slowly and fully. Pause. Then exhale again. In that brief moment of exhalation, let go of memories, emotions, thoughts. Experience a deeper state of relaxation, of peace and emptiness.
Sutra II.52 – Pranayama removes the veil covering the light of knowledge and heralds the dawn of wisdom.
Sutra II.53 – The mind becomes fit for concentration. Pranayama is not only an instrument to steady the mind, but also the gateway to concentration.
Sutra II.5 – Mistaking the transient for the permanent, the impure for the pure, pain for pleasure, and that which is not the self for the self: all this is called lack of spiritual knowledge, avidya.