Recently I read a great quote by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen that reads “The mind is like the wind and the body is like the sand: if you want to know how the wind is blowing, you can look at the sand.” In other words, the ways a body moves are manifestations of the state of its mind.
You might already know that the word ‘Yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’, which means to yoke or unite. Perhaps you have heard the sentence “Yoga means the union of the body and the mind”. I used to say that until I discovered that they were already one and, instead, Yoga is a tool to get rid of the obstacles within the body that are making us believe in the separation of body and mind.
We realize this already present union as we begin to release stored tension in the physical body. We can release this tension through meditation, breathing exercises and asana. Also, when linking breath with postures a mind can be drawn into the present moment, discovering the intrinsic union through all layers of ourselves: physically, mentally and spiritually.
One way that I like to think about the inherent body-mind union is to remember that, for the body to function it needs the mind. A body cannot be alive without the mind and once we realize that our mind, and body work as one, it is easier to understand our dharma. If our minds are unsettled, it is difficult to be creative, make decisions, focus or come from a place of oneness. It then becomes difficult to get anything done. It become especially difficult to remain fully committed to the things that we are passionate about, whether that is being present at work or with someone we care about.
Although there are many ways to interpret the Yoga definition of “union”, instead of defining it as “the union of the body and the mind”, it can be defined as “the union of the individual consciousness with the Universal Consciousness”. One way in which we can feel more connected to a universal consciousness is through a regular meditation practice.
How would it be possible for you to incorporate a few minutes of silence each day? How do you find a sense of union in your day?