Salutation to Sage Patanjali – The Mind is the King


It is hard to believe your mind is so powerful that it can manipulate your body.

Hatha Yoga Padipika says,

The mind is the king of the senses and the breath is the king of the mind.
-B.K.S. Iyengar

During these cold winter days, it is much harder to practice my regular Yoga practice. The aches and pains show up. The body becomes stiff as a stick. Touching the toes takes more warm up. But I try my best to keep it up. It takes a lot of effort to get out of your comfort zone and keep up with your workout schedule. But during this time of the year I give more time for my Pranayama – the Yogic Breathing and Meditation practice. It can be exhausting like Asanas (the postures) if you do it in the right way.

Sometimes the body doesn’t go well with the mind, but if you are strong mentally maybe you can change the body too. You can trick your mind with the help of Yoga. Yoga is another tool which can help you to attain control over the body. A few years back I went through a phase of painful shoulder episode. During that recovery journey, Yoga is the only thing helped me to pull through the pain. I modified and practiced. It was truly the mind over body situation for me.

Meditation teaches patients how to react to the pain. People are less inclined to have the ‘Ouch’ reaction, and are able to control their emotional reaction to pain. Read more here.

Here in the west, more emphasis is given to the physical aspect of Yoga than the spiritual and mental aspect of Yoga. The mainstream yoga is all about physical body appearance through different yoga postures. Many people don’t know that Yoga has its own breathing and meditation technique called Pranayama.

These days I hear a lot about mindful meditation. Pranayama is much more than just a mindful meditation. It involves breathing in a certain way and it helps to control your mind. You have to concentrate on your breathing technique which helps to look inside of you deeply rather than thinking about the outside world. It immensely helps other health conditions too. So it has tremendous benefits. It is like achieving two things in one action. Science backs it up too. Meditation and Yoga can even change the expression of DNA.

While doing pranayama, you feel you are here, alive, breathing but at the same time you are not attached to the world. A peaceful beautiful moment only to be experienced.

That’s another reason we give respect to Patanjali – the sage who created this Yogic Science and these verses are recited in every  Yoga session.

Salutation to Sage Patanjali:

योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां
मलं शरीरस्य वैद्यकेन
योऽपाकरोत्तमं प्रवरं मुनीनां
पतञ्जलिं प्राञ्जलिरानतोऽस्मि

Yogena Chittasya Padena Vaachaam 
Malam Sharirasya Cha Vaidyakena 
Yopaakarottamam Pravaram Muninaam 
Patanjalim PraanjaliraanatoAsmi 

I bow down with folded hands and offer my salutations to Sage Patañjali, the noblest of sages, who removed the impurities of the mind(Chitta) through yoga(Yoga Sutras of Patanjali), of speech through grammar(Patanjali Mahabhasya), and of the body through medicine(Ayurveda).