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How do you control your mind?

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Quick Answer

One way to control one's own mind is through the practice of Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India as defined in "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali." It provides a systematic, step-by-step approach for bringing the mind under control.

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Full Answer

The second verse in "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" states, "Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodha," a Sanskrit phrase that translates as "Yoga is the control of the fluctuations of the mind." The text then goes on to present 196 sutras, or verses, that give a detailed account of the methods used to bring the mind under control through the practice of yoga.

This is accomplished by following the eight limbs or rungs of Ashtanga yoga. The eight limbs of yoga are yama, which governs universal moral codes, niyama (personal observations), asana (bodily postures), pranayama (control of the breath), pratyahara (control of the senses), dharana (concentration), dyana (meditation) and samadhi (superconsciousness). Superconsciousness occurs when the mind is free from the constant fluctuations of thought waves caused by past impressions, or "samskaras." The sutras state that once the samskaras are eliminated and the mind is brought to a still point, it becomes like a mirror, enabling the individual to see her true nature.

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