Born in Solitude
Having thus explained in solitude, the nectar of yoga, which was born in solitude (through secluded practice), which is the cause for destruction of all bondage and leads to freedom, to her (Gargi), Yajnavalkya, the one fit to be worshipped, greatest among brahmins, entered into samadhi in solitude.
Having worshipped with chants and prostrations the sage who had spoken thus, and is the storehouse of all learning, the greatest among the ones who have realised the Brahman, the greatest among seers, Gargi attained the greatest and purest happiness. Then, in solitude, having clearly understood yoga which is born in solitude and is the cause for freedom of all beings, having given up worldly bondage, Gargi entered a solitary place in the forest with complete happiness.
Yoga Yajnavalkya Ch. 12 v 42-44
Solitude and seclusion are great supports in the practice of dhyanam (yoga meditation). To bind the mind (manobandha or dharana) it is ideal to be in a place without distraction.
“….a yogabhyasi should gradually bring the wandering mind under their control. That is why a specific place for dhyana becomes important. Here the person must remain alone so that he can become immersed in the object of focus.”
“This posture must be in a place where the mind will not be distracted.”
“The person must be alone and concentrate.”
Sri T Krishnamacharya, Dhyanamalika
The five outer limbs of yoga are the foundation to attain concentration, yama, niyama, asana, pranayama and pratyahara. Then dharana becomes a possibility. This will lead to dhyanam and then eventually samadhi. Samadhi is contemplation without distraction. Samadhi on the true nature of the Self is the best focus. All this practice is alone in a private place. We can make an effort to have a dedicated practice place and assign some time to regular practice.
“I create the condition to go along the path of yoga.”
In dream and deep sleep the body and the external world are cut off. An asana is a position that enables us to break contact with the outside world and focus the mind. In Samadhi you remain unconnected to the body and outside world. So solitude is the best condition to support this.
In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika supports and obstacles to practice are given.
The supports are zeal, perseverance, courage, knowledge, clarity, aloofness.
The obstacles are overeating, exertion, talkativeness, vows that lead to debilitation (such as long fasting), socialising and vacillation.
We may be able to take advantage of the current situation to apply ourselves to the goal of yoga.
“Maitreya Upanisad says that one can attain Self-realisation (atma-saksatkara) within six months. It is the intensity that counts”
Sri T.K. Sribhashyam
tivra samvegana-masannah Yoga Sutra 1:21
For the intense one the goal is near.
What is intensity? To give up all other pursuits and devote your whole energy to yoga.
May you attain enlightenment….sooner rather than later.
May all beings attain the Highest Good.