By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

How can Yoga help us maintain our composure during a potential argument? The following Yogic methods are designed to help anyone keep their cool in the worst of times. We know that losing our temper in business, family, or public matters, tend to hurt relationships and prevent successful outcomes. So, let’s look at some solutions to diffuse conflicts.

Learn to recognize the “triggers,” which make you feel defensive or angry. This can be performed through careful observation of yourself and others. Carefully practice mindfulness each day, and observe yourself without criticism. In life, we tend to be our own worst critics. Self-observation has nothing to do with self-criticism.

Self-observation is an honest view of your daily life, as it is. Once you see the truth and document it, then you can take action to alter it. Although, you have been taught the principles of Santosha (contentment), and you should be happy for what you have, you have the ability to make changes.

There is also a Sanskrit word: “Sankalpa,” which means resolution. This is not the common shallow promise, which is made on January 1st, and disappears by Valentine’s Day. This is a vow to perform a particular practice for a specific length of time. The act of observing, documenting, and taking corrective action, to diffuse conflicts, is a noble path, and full of gratification.

Through this method, some people completely learn to shut anger out of communication. For example: If a person is having a bad day, and makes an accusation toward you, he or she is often caught off guard, when you try to understand their point.

Empathic listening skills are rare, but the best diplomats have practiced and learned them well. If you are rational, and stick to the point of the conflict, by asking sincere, concerned questions about why someone is upset, you will sometimes resolve the conflict before it can escalate.

When you stop, and repeat what someone says, you demonstrate concern about the issues. At the same time, you show respect because you are pondering his or her point. This also prevents side issues, by maintaining focus on the main point of contention.

Lastly, if something makes you upset, and you need to “cool down,” you should not be negotiating. It is human nature to have mind clutter. We practice, or teach Yoga, to organize the mind. Most of us cannot maintain a focused mind all the time.

With that said, there is a time and place for negotiations. Choose your “ground,” make composure your ally, show poise, and then resolve conflicts peacefully.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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