Teaching Yoga to Pessimists

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Teaching Yoga to Pessimists

yoga teacher training intensive courseBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Have you ever come face-to-face with negative energy in a Yoga class? Most students go to Yoga classes for the inner peace, tranquility, or with the mindful intention to feel better from the collective positive energy. Yet, what about those who are troubled with a bitter taste of life? Some people seem to enjoy raining on every parade they can.

What should a Yoga teacher do when confronted with a pure pessimist? Should a Yoga instructor take on this “worst case scenario?” Teaching Yoga to negative people is a rarity, but it happens. A pessimist can contaminate an entire room of optimists – if the negative energy is strong enough. Needless to say, a pessimist should spend serious time with inspirational audio books and practice Yoga on a daily basis. However, not many Yoga teachers want to voluntarily teach a pure pessimist. Pessimists change the energy of any setting or group of people.

About teaching Yoga to pessimists (negative people): In short – not many of us would want to invite a person, who expects the worst, back for another class. Sometimes, Yoga changes their lives. However, if one insists upon defaulting to pessimistic behavior, there is hardly anyone, or any medication, that can help. The negative person has to see that he or she has a problem and has to want to correct it. As many of us know, our mind can be our best ally or worst enemy; but ultimately, each of us decides which path to take.

There have been a few times, when teachers have asked students not to come back. There are a variety of reasons for this. In the case of one who firmly believes “this world is the worst of all possible worlds,” who wants to spend time teaching him or her about the value of tranquility?

Negativity saps the life out of everyone who comes into contact with it. Yoga teachers and practitioners want to help everyone who wants to make a change, but negativity has no place in Yoga classes. A negative student acts as a repellant to students who want good health and a better quality life.

The path to change is difficult for all of us. It is not easy to give up any addiction. The same is true for negative people. Negativity is an addiction to making everyone’s life miserable. The “cloud of doom” follows this person, until he or she has made a commitment to change.

You cannot put much stock in pessimistic opinions, because you know they will default to negativity. Enjoy your path, and if a person wants to be helped, you can assist. Much like being a life guard, beware of those who you cannot help, but will pull you down with them. If you waste too much energy on someone who does not want to be helped, the experience may take a heavy toll on you.

With all that said, if a negative person sincerely asks for help, we should do our best to help. From that point forward, you should make an honest effort to observe the results. If you see a positive change, there is hope that Yogic methods and being surrounded by positive people will cause positive changes. If you see no hope, you would be wise to advise a chronically negative person to seek professional counseling.

© Copyright 2010 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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