The Purpose of Yoga: Getting Rid of Negative Thoughts

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The Purpose of Yoga: Getting Rid of Negative Thoughts

yoga teacher trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Tranquility of the mind is one of the main objectives within all forms of Yoga training. It is amazing how many students, from physically challenging forms of Yoga, have not yet learned this. To practice Hatha Yoga as an exercise is a “small piece of the pie.”  Exercise is a wonderful thing, and it can help us purge negative thoughts. Yoga training helps us attain our best emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical state. No exercise alone can help us attain optimum holistic health in this way. Some martial arts are close, but Yoga is the mother of all health maintenance systems, and Yogic methodology has many more healing aspects.

The next time you dwell on a negative thought, try to be a realist, and consider the real problem. The real problem is we worry ourselves sick about the unknown. Sometimes, change causes us to worry. We anticipate the worst, and most of the time, it never happens.  Here is a strategy for the next time you fear the unknown. Make it a point to plan and prepare for the unfamiliar surroundings, which cause you anxiety. Mentally see yourself solving the problem. If you are going to spend time on a problem, you must transcend worry, and work on a viable solution.

Here is an example: If you have fear of public speaking, you must practice your speech. You could also go to the stage ahead of time. Most auditoriums are open well ahead of time and most maintenance crews do not mind. This same principle is used in competitive sports. How often do you see professional players practicing hours before game time? Why do you think they are on the field so early?

“Practice makes perfect” is a very wise saying. Practice builds confidence, as well. The visiting team cannot wait to go practice on the opposing team’s home field before game time. Visiting teams are not familiar with the turf, and they will also face hostile sports fans. Even professionals have to “get the bugs out.”  If you do not have a stage or a field to practice on, you still have your mind. In Yogic meditation, you are taught to visualize. Therefore, you should visualize success. Do not approach a negative thought as a victim. Instead, look at your problems as a victor would. Forget the worries and focus on the solutions.  Some of my Yoga students have said, “But what if I fail?” In truth, no adventure in this life is a failure, unless you quit. If you never give up, you are still working on a positive outcome.

Once you finish Yoga teacher training, you should have mastered the art of focusing your mind to create solutions.  When a solution does not come to you, it is time to look into advice from a book, online source, mentor or Guru.  The search for a solution is just another quest for knowledge on this journey, which gives us purpose in this life.  To wake up each day and help others find viable solutions to their problems makes a Yoga teacher’s life worth living.

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