Meghan Maris shares words about Yoga Psychology.
We expect that our mind should conjure up new ideas, solve problems, and provide deep insights. Unfortunately, our minds and our senses are often misused, overworked, and overstimulated. Our mind can only function to the degree in which we understand its internal workings and our lives are a reflection of our awareness.
All day long, day after day, stimuli enters in through our senses (and we live in an era where we are bombarded with constant sensation). The stimuli prompt the mind to compartmentalize, contrast, compare, sort through memories, and oscillate into fantasy and imagination, to find reference and meaning of what was experienced. The continual flurry of mental activity can cloud or pollute our perception, leaving us to perceive partial or fragmented information from which we then make choices and take action.
Our understanding may be accurate or erroneous. Either way, our perception gives way to a feeling that is pleasing, neutral, or uncomfortable. It is at this point that we begin to create a deep groove in our mind categorizing our experiences into things we are attracted to or things we want to avoid. We spend most of our lives grasping for pleasure and running from what we would rather not do.
As you read these words, your mind has to retrieve the meaning of each word and understand the larger context of the sentences and paragraphs. Once meaning is retrieved, it then has to be filtered through the perception of your belief systems. Do you like what you are reading, does it resonate with you, or does it offend you? And how does your perception prompt your response?
The matrix of individual belief systems has been shaped through a lifetime of conditioning. We all operate from many beliefs that were created when we were young and we are often unconscious of their influence. The purpose of the formal yoga practices is to illuminate what is hidden in the unconscious so we are liberated from habituated reactivity and patterns. Integrating what is hidden is the experience of awakening.
The Psychology of Yoga workshop is an investigation of the mind’s inner workings through the lens of yoga. You will leave this workshop with an understanding of a few of the key principles from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, not as idealistic theory or intellectual knowledge, but as a road map to a deeper understanding of who you are, how your perception may mislead you, and how your preferences or distastes prompt you to respond. We will also practice techniques which render the mind an instrument of reflectivity and discernment.
This workshop is intended to be a system of self-discovery. As we understand ourselves better, we become less demanding of others because we recognize a common thread which we all are navigating from. Our new found understanding softens the hard line of either/or thinking, us v them, right v wrong, and returns us to the roots of our profound interconnectivity to all life.