Equanimity of mind is yoga

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The first time I read sloka 2-48 in the Bhagavad Gita it resonated, firstly because it felt like the objective of my yoga practice, but also because it contains many of the teachings of yoga within it.

For me my yoga is the realisation that I am not my mind coupled with a complete evenness of being in body and mind. Having equanimity of mind is about watching my thoughts and choosing my actions and reactions with a clear head. It is about being centred and grounded within myself and appreciating everything around me without letting actions beyond my control affect me.

Achieving equanimity is about living a life that enables evenness of mind regardless of the circumstances. It is not having attachments to anything that can become desired by the senses and lead to citta vrttis, or ripples in the mind.

Attaining total equanimity is harder than it first appears. I am attached to my family, with family inevitably comes events and circumstance that cause citta vrttis – a disagreement with my partner, the death of an elderly relative etc.. So the literal realisation of the sloka is perhaps best left to renunciates who can leave their families, and any of the other worldly attachments necessary to function in society, and spend their lives meditating.

However for me all yoga practice is about achieving a degree equanimity of mind, that is why this sloka inspired the name of my teaching practice. If at the end of a yoga session, whether Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga or any other, your mind is stiller than when you began you have achieved a level of equanimity. If you can take that into you daily life then you are a living embodiment of this teaching.

Of this sloka Satchidananda in his 2013 commentary of the Bhagavad Gita merely says: “Keep up that tranquillity while allowing prakriti, or nature, to function though you.

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