How to practice Chitta Vrati Nirodha of Patanjali ?
When you examine your mind most of the activities stop or the mind becomes silent. For this, you should observe your breathing through your Agnya chakra. Our breath always moves along the ‘trikuti’ in Agnya chakra. In ‘trikuti’ whatever you may see, simply observe, it may be some vibration, some colours or light or darkness. Observation slowly makes your mind blank and clean. You will have consciousness, which should be continued throughout the process of meditation. Keep aware and observe, when awareness vanishes you may enter into the state of sleep, which is not meditation. So observation of mind always brings the mind to a state of peace and harmony. This is practiced in Gyan Yoga (Yoga of wisdom).
Observe your mind, search for what is there inside. Keep the mind aware, try to go to the root of the mind, that itself is Shiva. At the end of the search you may find love, peace and harmony and this is Chitta Vrati Nirodha as practiced in Rajayoga and that experience is from Atman itself.
One thought, one process will take us in a single path to meditation. For example when you utter omkara, there is one voice, one thought of the OM. Finally omkara may automatically stop and you may enter into meditation.
Hatha Yoga is a process of punishing the body and mind to control the thoughts in the mind. Generally it may be through pranayama. During pranayama observe kumbhaka for a few minutes the mind becomes blank. Though this is Chitta Vrati Nirodha, this is not generally practiced because it comes under Hathayoga. This practice is generally dangerous so we need an expert Guru, to lead us on path of hatha yoga.