For me yoga has become a type of self-help. All the practices play a therapeutic and healing role, when one uses them wisely. I will list below various important self-help tools, not restricted only to yoga practices and show some ways for self-help which are free, priceless and immediate.
1. Follow Your Intuition
I know how difficult this may be. From the yogic perspective, the intuition is the refined intellect. Due to our ignorance and unconsciousness we suppress, bypass or ignore our inner voice, only to regret it afterwards. Whatever your intuition tells you, even if the logical mind rules the opposite, that’s the right thing for you.
2. Fear, Phobias, Anxiety: Face Them
Try as often as you can to do one thing you are afraid of. For example, if you are afraid of airplanes, fly on one. If you have fear from dogs, walk by one on the road.
This may be a bit difficult at the beginning but let me tell you a secret: when you’re able to do it, your body produces hormones such as endorphins, dopamine etc. You feel as if you’ve done something very brave and this feeling is as good as, if not better than, eating a whole bunch of chocolate. After all, everybody prefers to eat chocolate when feeling happy rather than distressed.
3. If There Is Anger, Lust, Jealousy, Hatred, Greed, Anxiety, Or Other Negative Passions Inside You, Don’t Kill Them
Accept these qualities, because they are all in YOU. At the same time, try not to express them or by doing so you’ll find yourself even more entangled in their sway and possession.
That’s one of the primary points of tantra (ancient spiritual silence). It accepts you at the level of your evolution not asking you to hate or kill any part of yourself as that may lead to personality splitting, i.e. one part of you plays the sinner and the other one is the punisher. Instead, tantra advises to accept and spiritualize our negative qualities and thus exhaust the karma.
4. Don’t Follow The Whims Of Your Mind
Do things the mind doesn’t want you to do and don’t do things your mind tells you to do. This is a huge task but gives your mind strong discipline. However, be careful not to fight with your own mind. Simply observe it. This is the milestone of yoga philosophy.
5. Rise early, do as much work as possible without expecting any results of it, eat simple food, dress modestly.
This may go against our trend-fashioned culture but I really prefer being simple and old-fashioned than modern but someone else.
6. Go to an ashram (a spiritual hermitage with Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instructions) and stay there as long as possible.
If you are undisciplined (like me) and the mind controls you, not vice-versa, ashram life is a true life-saving boat. Try at least once in the year to spend time and energy in an ashram environment.
7. Always, always keep the mind busy! You know the proverb
“An empty mind is the devil’s playground”.
8. Try to help people in need
Especially those who are strangers to you and there’s no relationship between you and them. Do not expect to see them ever again.
9. Choose your friends and company wisely
It may be better to have a few but loyal and worthy friends than a bunch of unreliable and calculating friends.
“They say that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
10. Mind What You Feed Your Body, Mind & Soul
You need a variety of quality aliments, enough time for digestion and a working method for waste treatment at all levels—biological, intellectual and emotional.
11. Do something Creative
Paint, write, play, compose—It doesn’t matter what as long as you express yourself.
All arts and learning are a form of and come from the Goddess Saraswati, remember? I’ll tell you a secret. When you use any negative quality within you which you cannot negate and you express it through creativity, soon it won’t bother you—it will be transformed for a better purpose.
12. Read Inspiring Literature About Great Sages And Saints, Interesting And Provoking Novels
13. Do Sports, Go To The Mountain Or Simply Hug A Tree And Place Your Forehead To Its Trunk, Thus You Will Channel Your Inner Energy
14. Smile, Laugh And Play More. Taking Things Too Seriously Blocks Your Potential
15. Now, With All Said Above, Forget Everything And Simply Follow Your Heart
Written By Antara Man