You Are Not Your Thoughts
In yoga wisdom we learn that all behavior begins as a bija, or seed, in the mind. In other words, the origins of what we say or do can be linked directly to our thoughts. So logic would tell us, if we want to change our behavior—for instance, we don’t like relying on alcohol to help us relax—then we need to change our thinking. So, how can yoga help you change your thinking to support your personal and career goals for 2018?
The first step is to recognize that we have control over our thoughts—that, in fact, we are not our thoughts. In other words, what you think is not a reflection of your character. Good thing, right! Recognizing this is a liberating awareness that allows us to take the next step.
Yoga Increases Self-Awareness and Focuses the Mind
The next step is learning how to focus the mind. Without mind training, the mind can jump from one idea to the next. In yoga, this is referred to as monkey mind. Some words associated with monkey mind are restless, inconstant, indecisive, and uncontrollable. But as you begin to take dominion over your mind using yoga, mindfulness, or other focusing techniques, you can determine where to place your attention.
Before I earnestly engaged in yoga practice, I found my thoughts to be oppressive. I didn’t know how to slow my mind down to relax or sleep or temper negative thinking. I often felt victimized by thinking and relied on excessive exercise as way to manage my mind. After taking up yoga in earnest, I learned that I could focus my attention. This has saved me countless hours of replaying painful memories from my past or freaking out about what might happen in the future. I’m better able to create the life I want.