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Friday, February 10, 2017

Pratipaksha Bhavana - Cultivate the Opposite - and PPOTD

At a workshop/conference/seminar I attended at Univ. of CA, SD the other weekend one of the recurring themes (for healing) was Partipaksha Bhavana, or "cultivate the opposite."

In the Sutra 2.33, Patanjali stated:
Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam.

“When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana.”

In other words, if you are feeling blue/down, you might be best served by getting up and being a bit social, having some warm comforting foods and interactions. If you are overstimulated and overheated, then a cool dip either physically (think - a pool!) or emotionally (deep breaths, a nap) might serve you well.

You can check into one of many articles are this in detail here: http://layogamagazine.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&id=355

But I want to comment on something topical and personal when it comes to this concept of cultivating the opposite. Our political climate is rife with distress. It's equal parts distracting, depressing, and irritating and very difficult from which to disengage. In fact, if you completely disengage you lose track of what's happening and you may feel even more lost. So, how do you stay cool headed, but informed. How do you follow your instinct about taking action with your local government but also not let negativity seep into every aspect of your life? How do you save energy for your family, your yoga practice, when you've been "fighting the good fight" all day, on phones, on line, or in other ways, especially if you job requires it.

I suggest, just briefly, take a time out and cultivate the opposite with a positive thought. Not a snarky positive one, but a truly decent, calm, pleasant, uplifting reflection on something GOOD in your life.

I am going to start posting Positive Posts of the Day (PPOTD) on facebook.com/byomyoga which will automatically post them on my byom_jackie Twitter feed. I welcome everyone to join in to the trend, not for "hits" and fame, but to spread a bit of good will and gratitude as quickly as we can spread frustration, outrage and bad news.

Use #PPOTD or #PositivePostoftheDay and feel free to tag me on Facebook as @byomyoga or @jackiegadd or @byom_jackie on twitter - I want to see the good things happening in your life. Because that will help ME cultivate the opposite when I"m feeling like the world is a bit out of control.

Extremely humble thanks to Amy Wheeler, PhD at amywheeler.com for the inspiration.

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