A Yogi is a like a Baby

Patanjali Yoga Sutra Knowledge Sheet 82

Contd. from knowledge sheet 81


The different positions of your eyes indicate the state of your mind. Different body postures also indicate what you are feeling. This is called body language. It shows what you are within you. So, stiffer you are, stiffer the body, stiffer the mind. To loosen up your mind, to loosen up your ego, to expand yourself, you need to do certain exercises, certain postures. These postures are called asanas. You are not just the mind; you are not just the body; you are the combination. You are not just the body! You are the combination of body and the mind. On one hand, when you work on your mind, you cannot ignore your body too.

So asanas are training the body for the comfort zone that it really deserves, that it has come to this planet with. When a baby is born, it comes with adimudra and then chinmudra and then chinmayamudra. If you see a baby, you will never see the legs flat on the floor. Their legs are always above the floor. Have you observed this? They do Shalabhasana. After Shalabhasana, they do Naukasana. They also lift their head and hands along with the legs. Then they do Pavanamuktasana. They hold their toes and try to put their toes into their month. Then what do they do?

They go on their tummy and try to do Bhujangasana. Being on their tummy, they try to catch hold of their toes on the back and do the bow pose or Dhanurasana. Then they try to stand up with both their hands and legs and try to do Trikonasana. They balance with one hand and both the legs and look up towards the sky. If they do it on one side, they inevitably do it on the other side too. If a baby does every stretch on both the sides, it is a healthy baby. Then it slowly stands up and falls down and does all that. It does not just sit quiet. It tries to jump. The child shakes, Om shake! It shakes all its internal organs. When a baby laughs, it laughs from belly. When you laugh, you laugh only from the throat. Sometimes you swallow half the laughter. This is because you have been told many times, “Don’t laugh, don’t laugh, don’t do this, don’t do that”. That don’t, don’t has put a block.

You know the worst thing to do is to put a pacifier, the rubber nipple, into a baby’s mouth. That should not be done at all. When a baby begins to cry, the mother immediately wants to plug the baby’s mouth. If you stop them from crying, you will stop them from laughing too. Then they stand in the corner with a long face. They do not even laugh or smile. They begin to get inhibited. You should let the child cry, a little of crying. Do you know what happens with this? All the cranial muscles and bones get adjusted naturally. Crying is a craniosacral adjustment. When a baby cries a little, its appetite increases and its lungs open up. Not too much crying. A little bit of crying is good.

The yogi is inevitably a baby. So when you do all the asanas, your mind also becomes like that of a baby- alive and enthusiastic. A baby cries and the next moment it can laugh, it can smile. But this becomes impossible for an adult. When you cry, it may take 10-12 days, for some people it may be even months, to get back your smile. People celebrate being unhappy. No. Babies cannot hold back their moods and emotions. They are alive every moment. If they are upset, they are upset at that moment. The next moment they are 100% out of it. If you are angry, you are angry for a whole month. If a baby is angry, it is intensely angry for one or two minutes and then it is out of it and smiling.

A yogi is one who is like a baby. What is a healthy mind? A healthy mind is one in which the emotions do not stay longer than the time taken for a line drawn on the surface of the water to disappear. If you draw a line on the surface of the water, how long does it stay? Any mood in you, if it stays only for that length of time, then you are having healthy emotions. Your mind is healthy. Asanas help you achieve that state of childlikeness. The circulation in the body improves and internal organs begin to function better. Your lymphatic system becomes better. The clogging in the lymphatic system gets released. The toxins in the body are thrown out and circulation improves. The nervous system gets good rest and rejuvenation. So asanas are the best way to prevent diseases.

<<What is Asana?Effortlessness is the Key>>

(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)