Instant first aid for negative feelings!
Yoga offers direct routes to emotional control through
Pranayama or breath control. It is established clinically
that alternate nostril breathing balances the Hemispheres of
the brain and Autonomic Nervous System and other types of
Elevate mood and provide energy. It is, however, best that
such techniques are learned by direct tuition from a Yoga
Note the following comment from an article by:
Aaarti Sood Mahajan and R. Babbar
Department of Physiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New
"The different types of Yogic breathing procedures affect
the ANS. Right nostril breathing activates the sympathetic
nervous system and increases the heart rate. Alternate
nostril breathing brings about a balance in the ANS (Shannahoff
1993). Kapalabhati practice showed an increase in the low
frequency band and decrease in the high frequency band of
the heart rate variability spectrum indicating increased
sympathetic activity " (Raghuraj et al 1998)."
The Raja Yoga and Gnana Yoga traditions offer much
instant relief and indeed this article is about such an
approach and a "Western Yoga".
My friend, Swami Divyananda Saraswati, is fond of quoting
Sri Aurobindo's statement:
"Most of our lives are lived in empty
Often that is the way we feel in our daily lives - and
possibly much fuss about nothing!
Michel de Montaigne, in the 16th century, wrote:
"My life has been full of tragedies, most of which never
Nothing has changed in 400 years and we can still become the
victims of self-engendered turmoil that exhausts us. I have
found it very useful to consider a particular Western
therapy for directly tackling the source of self-induced
agony. This system is the Western equivalent of Gnana Yoga
and Vedanta. There exist exercises in both Gnana Yoga and
Vedanta by which we can haul our misperceptions, or Maya, up
on a leash by sheer reason.
I have always maintained that Psychotherapy is Western
Yoga and what I am about to share with you I do not ask
you to agree with but please experiment with this material -
you will feel more positive, walk taller and maintain focus
and direction by trying these principles.
The place to start is by realising we often have false ideas
concerning ourselves and our expectations about life. These
concepts or premises about living, if accepted as true,
create emotional havoc in daily life.
The psychologists say "we progenerate our
psychopathologies", meaning that the neurotic or incorrect
attitudes that we adopt are learned as children, from our
parents, teachers and the cultural influences under which we
live. The real horror is that we often teach these
emotionally destructive ideas to our children in turn.
Another way of expressing this is that unless we are careful
we may merely exist in the shadow of our parents.
The American Psychologist, Dr. Albert Ellis, developed a now
well established school of therapeutic intervention, called
'Cognitive Therapy' or 'Rational Emotive Psychology' in
which common fallacies are identified and rigorously
challenged. If you get something out of what I am sharing
with you may want to get his classic "A New Guide to
Rational Living' (Paperback, Wilshire Book company, USA)
A wonderful internal freedom can result when we recognise
and consciously reject these false premises and in so doing
begin to enjoy a life devoid of self-torture and endless
I have permission from Wilshire Book Co. to quote his
Fallacies and I have selected nine of them for your
consideration. I have extracted them from my Mind Magic Kit
Appendix 3, Llewellyn Publishers USA.