Whether we are working on our BODY in posture-based Hatha yoga or on our MIND in meditation-based Classical yoga, it is common for yogis to attempt to control their body or mind. It is common to become a slave to the poses instead of letting the poses to serve us as best as our body can receive in each moment. And it is common to try not to think while meditating which creates more mind restlessness in the process. Are you familiar with any of these common behaviors? If yes, how is it working for you?
What difference do you see between controlling and mastering your body and mind?
The chart below is part of a bigger chart that illustrates the historical foundational influences of Modern Yoga.
In my own experience, trying to control the body brings about conflicts of interest between body parts and resistance creating excess tension. Mastering the body or mind includes working with them so all body-parts work in harmony with each other. Mastering the mind means being a witness of the activity of thinking without engaging with each passing thought.
Controlling limits our efficiency in whatever we do. Same as a controlling boss at work.
Mastering promotes the highest efficiency through cooperation. Same as a good boss at work.
Let me know what you think about this distinction.
What is your own experience with this?
Do you try to control your body or mind or do you try to master them?
What are the rewards and challenges of this very yogic process for you personally?
If you like this distinction, you can find more in my book The Wise Way to Yoga available on Amazon
Also, look for my series of Free Live Webinar starting again soon. And this time, when you register, if you can’t attend, you can still get a recording!:)