Applying Yoga to Daily Life
The Opposite Positive Thought
Most people who practice yoga like to participate in the yoga asanas, or postures. Usually people go to a yoga studio, or a fitness location a few times a week. The benefits of this practice are enormous and many yoga students will gladly tell you about their experiences with reduced stress, better mental health, improved physical health and so on.
What many people are not aware of is that yoga is considered by many to be a holistic lifestyle, and there are many simple practices that can be put into your life on a daily basis that will positively impact not only your own health, but your relationships and interactions with everyone you meet.
With the holiday season upon us, most people experience days of greater stress trying to meet all the obligations of family, school, children, parties, and entertaining on top of their regular activities and packed into that same 24 hour day. It can get difficult to remember that the season is really about love, sharing, and giving.
There is a yogic concept called The Opposite Positive Thought. In sanskrit this is called Pratipaksha Bhavana (pronounced pra-tee-pak-sha bhaa-va-naa). The definition is: “The method of substituting the opposite through imagination; thus fear is overcome by dwelling strongly on its opposite, viz., courage.”
More generally, what that means is, anytime you have a negative thought you should immediately try to replace it with a more positive thought. Thoughts of stress are replaced with thoughts of calm. Thoughts of anger are replaced with thoughts of love. Thoughts of impatience are replaced with thoughts of patience.
Any negative thought you have at any time, and about anything or anyone, should be replaced with the opposite positive thought.
Trying out this concept will not only make you feel better and help keep you on a more even keel, it will help create around you a more positive aura, so that your family and friends and all the people you meet will feel enriched and uplifted by your presence. Even if you only remember to do this part of the time, it will still go a long way. It seems like such a simple concept, but it really can help a lot towards making the holidays for you and your loved ones go more smoothly.
“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.” ~Ben Franklin