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Teaching Hatha Yoga - Instilling Positive Thoughts in Your Students

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
May 31, 2008
There are times when Yoga students are temporarily struggling with negative thoughts. This happens to many people because moods can change over the course of hours, days, or weeks.

There are also times, when some people have a natural negative default mechanism in their thinking. For Yoga students to see reality, and experience self-worth, they must develop their awareness skills. A person who is constantly negative may not even realize it.

For anyone to change, they must first be aware of the need to change. However, developing a presence, in the moment, is rare, if the mind is untrained. To train the mind toward self-realization requires daily practice and meditation.

Once awareness is established, a person must want to change. If we are comfortable thinking the sky will fall, why should we change our thinking? For some of us, negative thought becomes a habit and eventually, an addiction.

The person, who carries a "cloud of doom" around, wherever he or she goes, is comfortable with that cloud overhead. If you suggest positive thoughts, you may see a natural resistance to them. Any thought can be twisted into negative energy. It is only natural to go back to thoughts which one is conditioned to think.

So what do you do in the case of a Yoga student who appears to be a natural born pessimist? Do not waste time by lecturing him or her. Do not allow an atmosphere, where students can engage in negative conversations. All students should be discouraged from negative talk or gossip. Strangely, pessimists often attract the worst behavior from dominant personalities.

Make sure your classes are well-rounded, by practicing a variety of Yogic techniques, which will create positive energy flows throughout your class. Whether you are teaching asanas, Pranayama, mudras, mantras, bandhas, or anything else, you want to emphasize cultivation of positive energy. Avoid focusing on mistakes or poor form. Praising correct technique will create a positive atmosphere.

You can create positive thought, and make a big difference in your students' lives, just by giving general praise, when most of the class is performing a technique correctly.

Most of all - make positive visualization, affirmation, Pranayama, mantra, and meditation, part of your class. It should also be noted that certain Pranayama methods seem to naturally create collective positive thought, when performed in a group setting.

A suggested list of Yogic breathing techniques for positive energy would be: Bhastrika, Kapalabhati, Ujjayi, Anulom Vilom, Bhramari, and Udgeeth Pranayama. There are many more to choose from, but these six techniques would be a very good start.

Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He is an author of many books on the subject of Yoga and has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org
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