clear mind

For Peace of Mind, Train Yourself to See Clearly

On a recent misty morning, I was sitting at a red light at AW Grimes and Old Settlers, a car in front of me, a couple of cars in the lane to my left, and a few cars lined up in the left turn lane. The light turned green and the drivers of the cars in front hesitantly lifted their feet off their brakes, then stepped back down on their brakes and stopped. The driver of the truck to my left was clearly annoyed; he honked impatiently.

A few seconds later, we understood why the front row cars stopped at the green light. An ambulance was passing through, lights on, sirens off. Only the cars in the front row could see the ambulance. We, behind them, could not.

Yoga philosophy teaches us that there are five types of "fluctuations" or "disturbances" of the mind. Viparyaya, misconception, is the disturbance that happened in the mind of the driver of this truck. He didn't realize an ambulance was crossing through the intersection; he thought it was just a bad driver in front of him. His mind was agitated due to a misconception.

This is such a common situation. How many times per day do we lose our peace and become agitated due to a simple misunderstanding? It probably happens more than you'd think!

The good news is that yoga philosophy also teaches us that when we are in a state of yoga (when we practice consistently), we are able to perceive reality clearly. And in contrast, when we are not in a state of yoga, we are only able to see what our mind perceives reality to be.

The moral of the story? Practice yoga so that you can perceive clearly and maintain a calm mind.

We look forward to seeing you in class very soon! As always, we welcome your questions and comments. Please email us at

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