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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Yoga


Yoga in Practice

Train Your Mind for Empowerment, Part 1

Paul Jerard

Recently, there have been some objections to using words like empowerment, abundance, success, and achievement, within Yoga writings. However, it would be much more difficult to open the doors of my wellness center, in North Providence, if I were homeless. Imagine the number of children, teens, adults, and seniors, who could not reap the benefits of Yoga, if every Yoga teacher took a vow of poverty.

The fifth Yama: Aparigraha (Non-gathering) is clear to Yoga practitioners, but it would be difficult to contribute to charities, research Yoga, write, teach under-privileged people, or make a contribution to mankind, if you are starving in the back alleys of New England, or anywhere else. If you have nothing to give, you can give nothing; therefore, you must acquire and give to others to help mankind.

You should not abandon the concept of empowerment to help yourself, in order that you can help others - in turn. This is not about hoarding material, but accumulating, and re-distributing, to those in need. You only have a temporary hold on any material wealth in this life, so why not help people, while you have it? This is a principle of Karma Yoga: Union by selfless service.

Where do you start with training, or re-training, your mind for empowerment and success? It is within the basic programming of your mind that you must start. You must learn to "eat, sleep, and drink" positive energy every day.

To eat correctly, a diet should, for the most part, consist of sattvic foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. There is much more to this dieting aspect, but it is difficult to find these foods at a fast food restaurant. However, it is worth the effort to research the sattvic diet and make small changes to your current eating habits.

When you sleep, try to get to bed earlier and be in your best frame of mind. You can do this by meditating or by practicing a stage-by-stage relaxation before bedtime. There are also many good meditation, self-hypnosis, and relaxation CD's to choose from. Sometimes, dreams can be negative; but with the above-mentioned methods, you can change the programming of your mind.

Drink plenty of pure water and gradually observe how your behavior changes. Many people consume too much caffeine every day. Can you imagine if a negative person walked up to you, in a positive mood, and said, "I'm sorry, for what I said before - I had one coffee too many, today?" This sounds like a "lame excuse," but in reality, there are too many every day conflicts due to caffeine. With these first three steps, you will gradually train your mind for empowerment.

© Copyright 2006 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts, with multiple Black Belts, four martial arts teaching credentials, and was recently inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors in the greater Providence area. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher.

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