Good morning, dearest yogis!
First of all, I want to express to you how grateful all of us are for your continued support and participation in our online community classes! It certainly gives all of us something to look forward to. And it provides a sense of continuity and stability during this interesting time.
I’ve been reconnecting with the lovely yoga sutras during this time, which lends a larger and broader perspective and also provides a play book on how we might navigate life’s challenges.
One sutra is particularly resonating with me.
Sutra 2.33: vitarka-bādhane pratipakṣa-bhāvanam
It simply means:
When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite -positive- ones should be thought of.
Super simple but extremely challenging, am I right?
Basically, this ancient text is reminding us that happiness is a choice that we have to power to make in every moment.
And with pratipaksa bhavanam, we are learning to stop negative thoughts in the moment and immediately balance the fearfulness with positive thoughts based in love and abundance.
We see how this is merely an extension of our eight limbed practice of yoga, which have been covered in depth in previous posts! I encourage you to go back and re-read from the beginning!
The practice is not a basic: “I want a donut” “I do not want a donut”
It is watching the craving (or other negative thought cycle of fear, anger, greed, jealousy, depression, etc) without judgement and then replacing with thoughts of higher level positivity.
In the donut example, the oppositional thought may be focused on how good your body will feel if you eat something more nourishing and satisfying over the long term.
This oppositional thought process is prevalent in all aspects of the practice. From the do’s and don’ts of yamas and niyamas to the juxtaposition of our bodies in inversions!
Our practice is designed to be vigilant of our minds at all times and train the mind like we train the body.
Please share your thoughts and questions with me! See you on your mat in a virtual class soon!