In the context of a Yoga class or asana practice, not engaging in negative thoughts about us and/or our fellow Yoga practitioners is one of the core practices of Brahmacharya. Brahmacharya can be broadly defined as the management of our internal and external energy and focus. If we focus on the positive aspects of our life experience and our own blossoming abilities in the postures, we are much more likely to make physical progress and nurture a positive emotional state that will support us throughout the rest of the day.
If you are a Yoga teacher, noticing when your mind is engaging in negative thinking about one of your student’s level of effort (or lack thereof!) will key you in to the opportunity to be mindfully aware of your own thought processes. If you do find, after an interior evaluation, that your student truly is not applying enough effort, you may want to gently suggest that your Yoga student move more deeply into a posture or hold a pose for a longer period of time.
On the other hand, if you pause for a moment to reflect on your negative evaluation of your Yoga student’s lack of effort, and you realize it is unjustified; you will be afforded the opportunity to switch gears by cultivating a safe space for your student to practice to the best of his or her ability on that given day. Additionally, you may find that part of your negative thinking about the level of your student’s effort in class may be wound up in your own ego and image as an exemplary Yoga teacher.
For example, it is possible that you may perceive his or her lack of effort as a rejection of your teaching ability. Nipping this negative mental loop in the bud will allow you to view your Yoga student in a more objective light and to offer suitable modifications, if necessary, tailored just for that student’s level of physical fitness and energy on that particular day. Where we put our energy and mental focus can affect the atmosphere that we create in our Yoga classes. Choosing wisely and refraining from engaging in negative thinking patterns through restraining our energy from going down that path will help to create a peaceful, expansive and uplifting atmosphere in your Yoga classes.
© Copyright 2013 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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