The Yoga Sutras: Ahimsa and Pratipaksha Bhavanam |

The Yoga Sutras: Ahimsa and Pratipaksha Bhavanam | "The Yoga Sutras: Ahimsa and Pratipaksha Bhavanam
January 18, 2010
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According to the Yoga Sutras of of Patanjali’s in Book II; Sutra’s 28-34, Ahimsa is non violence/non-injury (not causing pain) . MANDALAY CIRCULAR exercises


Pratipaksha Bhavanam is the practice of substituting opposite thought forms in the mind.

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Sutra 2.30 states that Ahimsa is not causing pain, not just the physical way, but by your own thoughts and words as these can also cause pain. This can apply to the pain you can cause yourself, others, animals, and the earth. The key to practicing Ahimsa is living mindfully in your own integrity, your own light, and your own truth. Being compassionate towards others as well as yourself is key. This is important if you are going to be a yoga teacher because you need to treat all your students with compassion and diplomacy and help them become more balanced beings.

Yoga helps to release the stress, worries, negativities, tensions, and other issues associated with being part of the outside world and interacting with others. An agitated person can become a calmer person after a yoga class. This person then can be a catalyst for Ahimsa when re-entering the outside world.

Pratipaksha Bhavanam in Sutra’s 2.33 and 2.34 states that one way to control the mind and override negative thinking is to invite positive thoughts. This helps to eliminate the thoughts in our minds that we do not want and are not healthy for us. So it is possible to replace the thought of ill-will or hatred with the thought of good-will or love, but this must be practiced regularly. For example, basic positive thoughts to put your mind at peace can be a simple as “Thank you for providing me with a nice place to live with a roof over my head for the last year,” “Thank you for leading me to the path of being a yogi where I can get in touch with my body, mind, and spirit,” and “Thank you for my friends and family and the good health that we all enjoy today.”

Another way to control unwanted thoughts is to consider the principle of cause and effect. If thoughts are cause and experience is the effect, then consider what the effects might be of your actions, thoughts, and words. Will they be positive or negative? You can alter your destiny by being more peace minded and less war-like in all your encounters with others. For example, often when an unpleasant sensation occurs, we let a thought arise that the source of the unpleasantness was a person. This thought is always delusion and any decisions based upon it will therefore be unskillful rather than skillful. Behavior that flows from conflicted thoughts like this can’t be controlled. Engaging in trench warfare with your personality doesn’t work. Unity with others is a better choice.

The practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam is viewing negative situations in positive ways, which will allow you to acquiesce to being a more balanced and less reactive human being. It is always possible to shift your perspective from negative to positive and this will only be of benefit to you in pursuing yogic way of life.

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The Yoga Sutras: Ahimsa and Pratipaksha Bhavanam


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