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Yoga sutra 1.5

A little look at the first Yoga Sutra …

Yoga sutra 1.5

vr̥ttayaḥ pañcatayyaḥ kliṣṭākliṣṭāḥ

The five activities of the mind are misery and non-misery.

The activities are five-fold, whether they are of misery or non-misery. Some functions of the mind bring misery whereas some of them do not. For example, negative emotions, such as anger, fear, hatred, jealousy, ego, attachment, and grief, brings misery. the modifications of the mind are called "negative thoughts." When accompanied by love, affection, hope, kindness, and forgiveness, these modifications are called "positive thoughts." Love, affection, hope, kindness, and forgiveness do not bring misery. It depends on the circumstances.

In the language of modern psychology, these are regarded as negative and positive thinking. Often, we know that negative thoughts and emotions are not conducive to our well-being and yet we fail to stop participating in them. In addition, we also know that positive thoughts are conducive to our well-being but we fail to produce them at will. Driven by the subtle impressions of the past, the mind keeps producing negative and positive thoughts. The aim of yoga is to break this cycle.

Damian Cadman-Jones is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga™

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