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Yoga in Practice - The Yama For Peaceful Co-Existence

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Jul 23, 2008
Within Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, you learn many things, such as the Yamas and Niyamas. Yet, the moral ethics found within the Yamas and Niyamas are not always easy to apply to your daily life. The following is an example of using one Yama and applying it to your life.

Some of us may work, socialize, or live with people who have very difficult personalities. For example: How do you handle someone, who sees compassion and a willingness to negotiate, as weakness? If you are trying to negotiate with him or her, you are in the way. This person has needs, wants, and desires. If you speak in terms of logic, it sounds like an unknown language to him or her.

This personality envisions victory over perceived enemies and uses negotiation as a form of deception. How can you reason with someone who will lie, cheat, and steal from you? If you have the ability to see reality, and your vision is not distorted, you still hold some "valuable cards."

A self-centered personality will not bother to open dialogue with you, unless you have something of value. Take the time to see his or her hidden agenda. All is not lost when you see each matter as it truly is.

This situation could possibly become a very basic form of "carrot-and-stick" negotiation. The carrot is a positive reinforcement, and the stick is negative reinforcement. You really have no choice but to use this tactic, because this person would like to beat you with a stick rather than negotiate with you.

You do not have to resort to any form of conflict, but you have to make a difficult person aware that there are potential consequences for the "wrong action." At the same time, he or she should realize there are rewards for the right action.

If you are an "even handed" person, you may see negotiation as an art form, but you have to adapt to each situation. When negotiating with someone, who is always looking for your weakness, you might consider resorting to the art of influence. To initially offer concessions will likely be misunderstood and possibly seen as a gateway to victory.

One way to influence this person is to paint a picture of a gateway to loss. Even if this is an illusion, a bullying personality will usually back away from the potential to lose, and opt to take the gentler route of "playing at" negotiations.

So, which Yama would you be practicing in the above-mentioned circumstances? Which Yama would teach us about loving kindness, mercy, and non-violence? You would be practicing "Ahimsa," the Yama of the non-harming with our thoughts, words, or actions.

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. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/member-offer.html
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