It is normal and easy for us to allow our mind to take over our yoga practice. Often we allow negative thoughts to disturb the focus and tranquility of our practice. For example, we might catch ourselves thinking: It’s too hot; I can’t breathe; I always fall out of this posture; my heart is beating too fast; or, why doesn’t this teacher ever open the door!
There are three steps you can take to remove these negative thoughts and strengthen your practice.
1. Be Mindful
The first challenge is to be aware of your monkey mind. Don’t go into the thoughts or obsess over them, just observe them and recognise they are your mind trying to get one over on your body.
2. Connect with the Breath
When one is calm and quiet the breath is is calm and quiet, and the breath rate is approximately 16 breaths per minute. But when you get emotional or anxious your breath-rate will climb. When negativity gets into your mind, take control of your breathing. When you control your breath, you are able to control your state of being at all times.
3. Replace Negative with Positive
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali advises that “When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones should be thought of.” So next time you find your brain going down a negative path pull it back. Focus on gratitude for your health, on the energy of your fellow students, on the amazing complexity of your body, and the benefits you receive from the posture.
How do you beat negative thoughts? Share in the comments.