On the back of one of my Yoga journals I had written down many definitions of what Yoga is( and there were many) but one that I liked a lot was this one “Yoga is the discipline of changing negative behaviours to positive behaviours”
It is not always that easy and just by saying these things doesn’t change anything and it requires effort on your part, most of the effort involves continuing with the desire to change and it also requires a lot of patience “Rome was not built in a day”.
When I did my coaching Dip I found that the philosophy was the same Positive Psychology and the great thing about coaching is that it drives you towards making the necessary changes and remember you are the one who decides what changes you want to make the coach is there to guide you and sometimes to give you a kick in the arse.
Using Mantras to support these ideas is an added bonus and a gift, I swear that using mantra causes some sort of shift in AWARENESS and it also helps to shift those negative thought patterns and introduces new positive ones. Mantras work on a subtle level and there are different mantras for different reasons.
Keeping a diary is also a great support and it is simple to use and very effective, it takes a couple of minutes at the end of the day and helps build self-awareness. In my experience the real changes come in the mindset, change that and the behavior changes. I have attached below Swami Niranjananda take on the thoughts and also a suggested list of questions you can use for your diary.
A means to increasing Self Awareness
1.Did I laugh when I woke up?
2.Swara check? (check which nostril is open/dominant)
3.Is there a virtue I wish to develop?
4.Did I help anyone without their asking?
5.Have I maintained positive constructive friendship with everyone?
6.Did I laugh before I slept?
7.Did I overeat? Did I enjoy my food?
8.Was I lazy today? I f yes then when ..
9.Have I been dwelling in the past, present or future?
10.Is there a bad habit I want to be rid of?
11.Did I seek recognition?
12.What time did I get up at?
13.How many hours’ sleep did I get?
14.What was my major desire today?
15.What negative mental state did I experience today?
16.How did I control that state?
17.Did I have positive inspiration today?
18.Describe the weather? 19.Did I practise Yoga today?
Thought is definitely created by you, there is no doubt about it. Thoughts represent your involvement, participation,
response and reaction to a given person, moment, situation
or circumstance. Thought is your creation. Thought does not
come from anywhere else, and what comes from anywhere
else does not stay with you. You are only expressing yourself.
Thoughts are your creations and are the outcome of the
natural responses of your mind, emotions and senses in relation to the outside world and to your own desires and needs.
Therefore, the spiritual traditions have always spoken
about maintaining a positive mind, a positive thinking
pattern to overcome selfgenerated and self-oriented
thoughts. You have to eliminate them to bring in new thoughts
with which you can live.
Despite having a wealth of guidelines and instructions, you
are unable to change yourself due to your own nature. That
is an indication that everything is self-generated. In yoga, there is the concept of pratipaksha bhavana, to counteract a negative expression with a positive one.
A Sankalpa is another great means of putting positive ideas into the mind, recently I read a post from a former client of mine who had gone through drug detox and in his post he stated I am strong clean and healthy.
I have been working in Cuandara detox unit for 16 years and I give all the clients there the Sankapla of ” I am STRONG I am CLEAN I am HEALTHY and when the guys are relaxed I ask them to repeat this sankalpa so I was happy to see that it worked for someone indeed it has worked well for me over the years and again it takes time but the results are worth it.