Yoga Teacher Training By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Many Yoga practitioners understand, that the foundational guidelines of decision making, rest in the Yamas and Niyamas. If you follow the first two limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga, you cannot go wrong. Yet, sometimes, we still make wrong turns in life. How can people make more rational decisions with a simple referencing system? Below are four practical applications that will aid you in making an important decision.

1. Accept the situation for what it is. Many people ask, “why me?” This precious time is wasted on self-pity, when we should be searching for a logical solution. Some people deny they have to make a decision. They close their ears, and shout louder than anyone within hearing distance, to avoid coming to terms with problem situations and decision making.

Although this is an extreme example of behavior that is driven by denial, it displays the need to accept and address a situation in a timely manner. To neglect a situation, through denial, can let problem situations grow out of control. Much like cancer, if we see a warning sign, it is time to react rationally, while we set self-pity and denial aside.

2. Develop a balanced perspective. Look at everything from multiple perspectives. After some deep thought, feel in your heart how a decision will rest with you. This is important because you have to live with your decisions, and your heart’s reaction, to them. Some people describe this as “gut feeling” or intuition. Either way, it is an inner assessment of a situation, based on conscience.

It is also good to listen to outside opinions, even if you disagree with them. Decisions are not always on the right or left side of the road. Siddhattha Gotama’s: “Middle Way,” and Aristotle’s: “Golden Mean,” refer to the path between two extremes. Great decision makers learn to listen to both sides and craft a compromise.

3. Create a positive energy shield. What am I talking about? Harness the positive energy within your mind, while you protect your thoughts and your outlook on life. There is always someone who believes the sky is falling. Humanity has heard the world will end tomorrow, since the first pessimist could speak or write.

In recent memory, the world was supposed to end in 1984, 2000; and now, is forecasted to end in 2012. There will always be a doomsday cult, and some day they might get it right; but they have been consistently wrong throughout history. Needless to say, you cannot make a rational decision with a pessimistic viewpoint.

An optimistic viewpoint allows us hope to find a solution. The world’s problems can be overcome, if we have rational thinkers who are in position to make important decisions for the environment and the betterment of humankind.  Yoga teachers from every part of the world should be a source of positive energy for their students. Yoga teacher training courses should include information about pranayama for the purpose of cultivating positive energy.

4. Invest time in daily meditation. Meditation works much like a mental and emotional insurance. One month of daily meditation will train the mind for rational decision making. Therefore, we should meditate, daily, for life. If you do not meditate daily, or at all, this meditation investment is for future decisions.

To train one’s mind will require time, but it is time well spent. Meditation balances the mind and creates rational thought. One of the best habits, one can develop, is daily meditation. In this way, we can address volatile situations with inner calm.


Yoga works best, when we learn to apply it to life, in the practical sense. The practical application of Yogic principles, toward daily life, is more important than anything we do on a Yoga mat.

© Copyright 2011 – Paul Jerard / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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