13 Nov Pratipaksha Bhavana
Pratipaksha Bhavana ( Vipareet Bhavana )
What is Pratipaksha Bhavana?
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras states that any negative thoughts go against the Yamas and Niyamas prescribed in the Classical or Ashtanga Yoga. Yogis developed the concept of Pratipaksha Bhavana to overcome the inherent negative thoughts and emotions such as anger, greed, pride, sadness, worry, and tension etc.
Promoting healthy and positive thoughts are essential to reach a balanced state of mind and personality. The actual meaning of Pratipaksha Bhavana is cultivating positive thought every time a negative thought enters the mind. Pratipaksha means “opposite” Bhavana means “emotion/ sentiment.”
How does Pratipaksha Bhavana work?
Pratipaksha Bhavana is a beautiful and challenging mind practice. This powerful technique has the potential to shift the energies and align them in such a way that in every situation only goodness and positivity is read and picked up.
A practical mind exercise that can be easily implemented if one has any violent, negative or untrue thoughts enter the mind then he/she can begin to create opposite thoughts of non-violence, true and amicable thoughts. This particular practice requires consistent effort and time to make it a habit and regular way of thinking.
How it helps-
Once you start, you will slowly start to notice your thought process and emotions especially the frequency of the negativity. Start to weaken the negative thoughts and emotions by denying attention to them.
For example, you will start to notice detrimental qualities within yourself like procrastination, ill temper, rage, etc. here you should not jump to conclusions that you cannot do anything about them. Do not justify: “I am weak, and this is negative karma from my past life etc. what can I do now?” However, at the same time do not become too upset about your negative thoughts, because this will draw in additional negativity and intensify instability and peace of mind.
Instead, every time you notice the negative thought; gently restrain it by not attending to it. Now try to develop positive assertion- Substitute positive beliefs that are contrary to the negative thoughts. This helps to stabilise the mind and keep the negative thoughts at bay that are disturbing your mind. Make an effort of thinking exactly the opposite.
For example, if you are in the habit of being worried about something or the other, try to overcome this by thinking about great personalities who are peaceful and never worry. Try imagining the happy face of Buddha or any spiritual Guru or a calming nature scene. Relax your eyes, facial muscles and hone in a feeling of happiness and compassion.
Re-routing thinking patterns
As you practice Pratipaksha Bhavana, the negative thoughts may come back, but it will gradually phase out and lose its momentum. Slowly but there will be a paradigm shift in the thinking pattern and re-routing negative thinking to positive thinking will slowly become a habit. This simple yogic technique will manifest and transform your personality.
So the next time you have doubts and questions travelling through your mind example- I fear failure? Why I am angry and frustrated with my boss? Why am I confused all the time? Try substituting the negative thought, word, and action by invoking positive images and experiences like remembering the past successes, the face of your happy children, or perhaps a soothing sunrise!