Cultivating the Opposite

Pratipaksha-bhavana is one of the Yoga Sutras; Cultivate the opposite feeling or mood.

In the second chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, we find one aphorism that speaks of cultivating the opposite feeling. The Sanskrit term for this is pratipaksha-bhavana. Whenever adverse notions (vikalpa) take over the mind, Patanjali tells us, we must conjure up their opposites. So, instead of thinking negative thoughts, we ought to cultivate thoughts of love, kindness and compassion.

 

The Human Mind

 

The human mind tends to naturally go to the negative than the positive. And living life during Covid-19 means we have a lot to contend with, there a lot going on in the word at the moment – a lot that is beyond our control. It makes life very challenging. We need to spend more time creatingmore opportunities to cultivate the opposite state of mind.

 

How we do this in Yoga?

We do this in our own yoga practice. We do this through intention setting. We do this by living our yoga.

We often spend time in the beginning of class setting the scene, setting the mood for the practice and setting our intention. We are then able to cultivate the quality we seek instead of the emotion we might be feeling already. If we feel fear we can cultivate a quality of feeling safe and settled, if we feel ungrounded we can work on feeling grounded. So, whatever it is we need to cultivate we have the power to make that happen through our yoga practice.

 

 

How this can help you during times of uncertainty

 

We are living in a time of uncertainty and unrest. Our yoga practice has never been more important. Our Kuli community has never been stronger. When we are tested to our very limits, it is these times that we must look deep within ourselves to find that inner strength. A daily practice of cultivating the opposite might help increased mood, increased positive thoughts and feelings and a lighter, brighter outlook on the future.

 

Please let us know what you think of this and how you get on with cultivating the opposite feeling. Contact us to let us know.

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