Is the mind continuously on a downward spiral? Once I heard in a presentation that having a positive mind is like exercising a muscle, if unused it withers away. In Yoga we call this Abhyasa (making an effort), which is part of Panchata Kriya or meditation in daily life. Well, I think if you are not lucky enough to be born into a perfect environment, where there are only positive role models, we all have to make an effort to keep our minds constructive rather than destructive.
Another aspect of Panchata Kriya is Vairagya (not colouring with any pre-conceived ideas). How many times do we react to another person unproportionately because something is bothering us that has nothing to do with that person?
Swadhyaya or self-study helps us to remain more objective and is an important skill to separate our own issues with other peoples’ problems. By studying or learning about positive role-models, whether it be scriptures or books like “eat pray love” we create possibilities to expand our minds in a unlimited way.
Tapas, where we balance physical and mental behavior allows us to practice discipline. Hatha-Yoga is a form of tapas. It takes commitment and discipline to practice postures or Asanas, which help us to create balance in body, mind and spirit. And finally Ishwara-Pranidhana or self-surrender , where we devote our actions to something greater that, we trust, exists. It takes the pressure off us, and helps us to live more responsible and joyfully.
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