THIS ARTICLE WAS SHARED FROM BIHAR SCHOOL OF YOGA
People come to yoga with various intentions: some wish to improve health and wellbeing, some want to de-stress and find peace and harmony in life, and others have spiritual aspirations. Many people begin their connection with yoga by practising asana, perhaps also with some pranayama, relaxation and meditation techniques.
However, for those who wish to experience the transformative potential of yoga and a qualitative change in life, it is necessary to go beyond only these practices. Yoga is a vast and comprehensive system that, when adopted as a lifestyle, allows each moment of daily life to be a yoga practice and sadhana. In the course of time, the total human personality is refined and enhanced in a balanced, integrated manner.
The great need in today’s world is mind management, and this is the key aspect of the yogic lifestyle. This yoga is the remedy for the imbalance and distress in life, giving the means to live well, happily and with fulfilment. Living yoga or the yogic lifestyle then becomes the foundation for the development of spiritual awareness and the path of transcendence.
How can one aspire for spiritual realization when the mind is restless, influenced and disturbed by negativity? First, it is necessary to train the mind to be even and balanced, and to overcome the lower nature of the mind to attain the higher qualities of life. Everyone is born naturally knowing and learning how to express the negative qualities in all their various forms, such as anger and envy, but to connect with and express the positivity in life it is necessary to make the effort and train the mind over a period of time.
The key to mind management is overcoming what the sages have identified as the six enemies: kama (desire), krodha (anger, aggression), lobha (greed), mada (arrogance, egotism), moha (delusion) and matsarya (jealousy, envy). A close look reveals that these qualities influence every perception, thought, response and action, whether directly or more subtly. These enemies limit the human personality, restrict human consciousness and development, and separate one from all that is beneficial and uplifting in life.
How can this lower nature be defeated? By connecting with the positive. Pratipaksha bhavana, the cultivation of the opposite quality, is the answer given by the luminaries and demonstrated by their own example. Always maintain a positive attitude. In this practice, one makes the effort to be happy, optimistic, and hopeful at all times, and never to allow any obstacle to become a problem, but only a hurdle to be overcome. As negative thoughts and feelings arise within, they are replaced with the opposite quality, and in this way, repeated practice trains the mind to connect with the positive and ultimately to identify with it.
This effort towards inner change is important to make one a creative and positive person. To maintain one’s inner peace, balance and positivity in all the ups and downs of daily life is the highest meditation.
This article was shared from Bihar School of Yoga and published on the Yoga.in Blog. The Bihar School of Yoga is one of the best-known yoga schools, recognized across India and abroad for the quality of its teaching and as the home of yoga Nidra. The school was founded in 1963 by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati. It is voted to be one of the best schools in India on yoga.info. For more general information on the Bihar School of Yoga, click yoga.info, yoga.in or on the Bihar School of Yoga’s website itself.