By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

The benefits of Yoga practice are obvious to those who have a firm commitment to take positive action. The difference between empowerment, and failure, is that successful people never give up. Yoga is a mechanism by which practitioners gain mastery over their lives.

Once this is realized, you can take responsibility for your path in life. Never doubt your success by depending on others to take responsibility for you. It is true that we need others, so we should recognize that we are interconnected, but we should still take responsibility for our own lives.

In the words of John Donne:

“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

It should be remembered that we do not reach our fullest potential in isolation. However, it is also worth noting that we will not thrive while in the company of pessimists and negative influences. Yoga teaches us to look within and find solutions.

With that said, a negative influence is easy enough to recognize, but we also have to put some distance between us and negative energy. This is easier said, than done, because our negative influence may be a co-worker, relative, friend, or a spouse. Maybe we have tried to let him or her know that pessimism is dragging us down, but the message never gets through.

A little bit of distance, away from a negative influence, can do wonders for your mindset. If you cannot get away, a steady routine of positive affirmations, prayers, or mantras, will also create positive energy from within.

If you are in the company of an eternal pessimist, and he or she refuses professional help, you have some hard decisions to make. One question to ask yourself is: “Will I be able to control my own sanity, in the company of this person, who is refusing help?” The answer will come from within.

Finally, take a look at your short- and long-term goals. Some people say there is no room for goals in Yoga. Tell that to a Chair Yoga student who manages to get out of his or her wheelchair because of setting goals.

Since when were goals bad? The scriptures of every religion, and philosophy, were written by people who made it a goal to complete their writing. Most of the world is free, because freedom and democracy were the goals of free societies.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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