Yoga shows us the path to inner calm and a steady mind.

By Indra Mohan

The most important role of yoga in our lives is to provide us with clarity and balance, aiding us in making decisions and navigating various aspects of life journey. However, we all know that keeping a stable and clear mind is challenging—due to the constant influx of desires, aversions, and distractions that flood our minds with thoughts. Despite our efforts to stay focused, these thoughts disrupt our mental equilibrium. We need to find a place of centering and calm within us, to meet life challenges wisely!

A central teaching of yoga is that, by mindfully distancing ourselves from these distractions and choosing a place of inner quietness as our focus, we can access inner peace and steadiness, and experience greater happiness and contentment. There is great value in this teaching.

Achieving profound mental steadiness, known as samadhi in yoga, does need dedicated practice. Through the eight limbs of yoga, starting from yama and leading to samadhi, we cultivate mindfulness and focus and train our minds to remain steady amidst distractions. The practice involves repeatedly directing our attention to chosen experiences that are calm and clear, gradually diminishing the power of unwanted thoughts.

Practice alone can be blind. Therefore, deepening our understanding of this process through study is crucial for effective yoga, whether it involves asanas, pranayama, or meditation. Our aim is to make that calm mental steadiness our natural state—so that we have it not only during the time we set aside for formal yoga practice, but also throughout the day. By consistently bringing our minds back to a state of tranquility, we can strengthen our ability to maintain focus and achieve inner peace in all our endeavors.

If we practice yoga with this understanding, it will be a guiding light for our lives, from within us.