Yoga increases Mindfulness, which is much harder, then concentration. Concentration is practiced, for an external object. However, for Mindfulness the object of concentration, minds itself. Shifting the object of concentration from outward objects, to inward objects instantly makes the whole equation changed. You require a much profound discipline of consciousness, for practicing mindfulness, as the objects have become subtle, and it’s hard to remain concentrated on that.
Benefits of Mindfulness
However, if you could practice this hard step, the benefits are immense. Suddenly the mind moves into the present moment, and it becomes so engaged in the present moment, all distractive thoughts move away, all daydreaming on past and future are no longer there, making the mind focussed. And with this focus of mind, there is a consistency arrives in the mind where the continuity between arriving and subsiding perception, remain intact. The senses become refined, and even when you are fully immersed in an activity, you remain happy and relaxed.
Focus and Distraction
Yoga helps one to understand the key difference between focus and distraction. The focus is a more consistent thought pattern, whereas distraction and forgetfulness and even unmindfulness are a more inconsistent thought pattern, where there is no continuity between arising and subsiding perception. When there is no continuity between arising and subsiding perception, there will be no discipline of consciousness. And when there is no discipline of consciousness, there will be no discipline of sense activity. Uncontrolled sense activity will lead to sense to move in a haphazard way. That will lead the sense to move towards the objects, which are fleeting. And when the mind starts moves towards the objects of fleeting nature, it cannot hold its consistency of concentration even. That will create unmindfulness and distraction. With the distracted mind, one will not be able to see the world as it is and gets deluded. Once he is deluded, he will lose the pure seeing, which will root to suffering.
The Problem of Unmindfulness
With the pure seeing, one will see the rope as a rope, and the snake as a snake. However when one loses the pure seeing, then one can see the rope as a snake, and get terrified mentally and create inner suffering. He can also see the snake as a rope, then he will be hitting the snake unconsciously, and the snake biting him back, that will lead him to external suffering creating serious medical and health condition. In both cases, if one cannot see the world (both inner and outer) as it is, it will lead to suffering.
The snake is never the problem, neither the rope is the problem or the source of the problem. The problem is, we are not mindful. And as we are not mindful, we saw the snake as a rope and the rope as a snake.
Yoga as a tool for Mindfulness
Yoga in its essence, removes this distraction from our mind and creates a continuity of thought between arising and subsiding perception by giving it a direction, like a compass, gives to a ship in the ocean. Gyan Yoga in a similar way acts as a compass, and gives the direction to the individual ship, in the ocean of consciousness. This continuity of thought which is created by right direction is called as concentration when goes outward and mindfulness when going inwards and it remains the secret of health and wellness. As the Yoga practice grows, one develops more continuity, between arising and subsiding perception, and the most of the disease, is created out of a wrong and distracted thought patterns gets healed due to mindfulness created out of Gyan Yoga practice.
Yoga for Everybody?
Distracted thoughts are also the default state of mind, and where it also creates unstable breathing patterns. This unstable breathing patterns where the breadth is not spacious and subtle, but disturbed and gross, which is the root of unstable emotions. Health persons have focussed mind, stable breathing pattern, and balanced emotions which help them to release hormones from endocrine glands in right proportion which creates general well-being in the body.
Initially, the effects of Gyana Yoga are temporary and it remains up to a certain amount of time after the practice, where the mind remains concentrated and mindfulness, the breath remains stable and body remain relaxed as happy. But with practice the effects, grow as the impressions which are generating the distractions of the mind, resulting to unsteadiness of emotions, breadths, and body is subdued by new tranquil impressions generated from the practice of Yoga. Slowly and gently, all life becomes a yoga, as the yoga practice grows, it becomes the lifestyle, way of thinking, a way of socializing and way of behaving, and that is the deeper impact of yoga, and it transforms the consciousness and evolves from outward to inward , from worldly to divinely.
In fact all the paths of Yoga lead to purification of body , breath and mind , that one could practice Yoga , and get insight and understanding about the workings and discipline of consciousness, that it could further lead to pure awareness which is ultimate aim of any Yoga. That’s how all life become Yoga. That’s when yoga can be practised by everybody as it becomes the part of life.