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Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday at Noon ~ Level One Yoga ~ Starseed Yoga in Montclair

10-3-10  Pratipaksha Bhavana

When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones should be thought of.  This is pratipaksha bhavana. 2.33 Patanjali's Yoga Sutra

Yoga offers us two invaluable techniques: 1) a remedy to take when in the midst of negative episodes, and 2) a preventative that immunizes the mind from their recurrence.  Supression should not be used because supressed thoughts eventually return with a doubled force.  To use pratipaksha bhavana, immediately take the mind to an elevated place when a negative thought comes along.  Focus your attention on thoughts that can counter the negativity.  Hate ~> Love, Anger ~> Peace, Greed ~> Contentment, Fear ~> Openness.

This is a practice that requires skill.  The more we use it, the better we become at it.  Once the negativity has passed, it is time for self analysis.  Discover the motivation behind the negative impulses and gain inspiration for avoiding them by contemplating their undesirable consequences.  Negative, selfish behavior has no place for a yogi because it brings certain pain.  Two reasons why anger is not good motivation:  1) it harms the individual, 2) it ignores better motives.  Anger disturbs the equanimity of the individual.  Literally the body shakes from trama, toxins are released, bile pours out, and the nervous system is thrown into imbalance, causing judgement and rational thought to be compromised. 

All acts born of ignorance, strengthen ignorance.  Ignorance is the lack of awareness of the True Self.  Yoga is uniting all parts of ourselves:  mind-body-soul.  It is a connection of consciousness to the Divine Consciousness.  Help overcome ignorance with daily practice.  Find rhythm.  Share love.  Be happy.

For today's class many poses are demanding, practice pratipaksha bhavana.  Turn the hate into love.

Supta Baddha Konasana (supported bound angle pose) with a bolster and a belt five minutes here, going inside.  Find the breath, look for the natural rhythm.  Let go of any tension.  OM Hari OM chant.  Sukhasana/Virasana hip opener, body circles, Baddhanguliyasana (upward bound hands), shoulder rolls, table, cat/cow, Malasana (squat pose) > Uttanasana (standing forward bend) 3x, Tadasana, star > goddess, Urdhva Hastasana (upward facing hands), Uttanasana, Ardha Uttanasana, Surya Namasakar with Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (upward facing dog) 3x, goddess > archer Vinyasa with hands in yoni mudra, Prasarita Padottanasana, Parighasana (gate pose), Balasana > Bhujangasana Vinyasa, ankle to knee pose, happy baby pose, reclined twist, Savasana (corspe pose) with guided relaxation. Pranayama - Nadi Suddhi (alternate nostril breathing) into a Breath Meditation.

"Equanimity of mind is yoga.  Do everything centered in that equanimity.  Renouncing all attachments, you'll enjoy an undisturbed mind in success and failure."
-Bhagavad Gita (chapter 2:48)

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