Yoga Makes You Well

May you be filled with loving kindness, may you be well,

may you be peaceful and at ease, may you be happy.

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Opposite Day

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 7:09 PM Comments comments (20)

I can gnaw on a thought for a long time.  Like some old pit bull, I can lie around worrying some bone I have to pick with someone for a long time.  I can spend a lot of my life being right. 

The question is this, though, "how much energy am I wasting being right?"  Is it worth it to be right this long?  How much of my life passes by with me worrying, fighting, obsessing, feeling sad and unworthy?  Is there another way?

Yoga offers some wisdom about this.  In the Yoga Sutras (a 2500 year old book of poetry in Sanskrit that is something like a bible of yoga), there is a verse that talks about this.  It goes, "pratipaksa bhavanam".  That means, "think the opposite."  

So what if the next time you feel like you might fail at something, you took this advice and pratipaksa-ed that bhavanam all over the place?  What if you cultivated the opposite thought: "Oh no!  What if I am a great success?!" 

Can't really hurt to try, now can it?

One thing yoga is great at is getting you to move into new positions and feel what it feels like to be upside down, or facing directly into your foot, or some other unexpected place.  It gets us out of our comfort zones.  And we have the chance to look at things from an opposite place, an unfamiliar perspective.  In this way, life takes on three dimensions and so do we, right along with it.

My friend and stellar yoga teacher, Lavonia Elberton (yes, she's a drag queen), is a guest on my yoga channel on youTube, Yoga Makes You Well.  She based her video on this idea of cultivating the opposite thought by demonstrating poses that she really doesn't like.  Check her out at http://youtu.be/4CE-_TsWaIw

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