Emotional disturbances

Lust, Pride, Obsession, Anger, Hatred and Greed.  Familiar to all of us, these emotions (as reactions) are the enemy of spiritual growth, even though they do exist for a purpose and can be used wisely.

Yoga can be used to channel these emotions and transform them for higher purpose .

Through Yoga we can understand and work with these 6 disturbances and we then have a chance of transformation and freedom.

A short description and a weekly practice sequence follows:

  • Lust – inordinate desire, lechery, craving, covetousness – scatters the mind.
  • Pride – arrogance, vanity, hubris, conceit, egotism, superiority – without ego you can take pride in accomplishment.
  • Obsession – fixation, passion, mania, compulsion, infatuation, addiction, fanaticism –  creates repetition which is torture.
  • Anger – strong feeling of extreme displeasure aroused by supposed or real wrongs – there is a place for righteous anger but not self-righteous anger.
  • Hatred malice and envy motivated by intense dislike or prejudice –
  • Greed – coming from our fear that we will not have enough, a strong and selfish desire for more (food, wealth, power)whilst appetite for life is wonderful, it’s important to learn to control it, quality not quantity counts, minimize need, minimize attachment, maximize contentment.

Yoga Practice

Day 1:

STANDING POSES; Transform GREED using DISCRIMINATION.

Quality is better than quantity. Take in the essence of life as you would smell a flower deeply with sensitivity and appreciation. Yoga teaches us to let go of the fear that we won’t have enough. 

Work your asana between trying too hard and not hard enough.

Day 2:

TWISTS & FORWARD BENDS; transform HATRED using REASONING.

Most westerners try to solve their emotional problems intellectually; but they can only be resolved emotionally.

It is the health of the physiological body that creates the Primary link between health and salvation, we waste so much energy allowing our emotions to govern us. Misperception is the projection of prejudice into the future.

Work with your asanas without reaction, when intelligence consults spontaneously with memory at the moment, then conscious intuition arises this is wisdom. 

Day 3:

INVERTEDS; transform ANGER using PRACTICE

Practice what you most resist. As we practice more yoga we realise that most of life is not personal.

Practice with your body and your ego (small self) so you can allow your soul (big self) to be victorious.

There is a place for righteous anger but not self-righteous anger.

Exhalation is the sacred act of surrender, of self-abandonment. With an exhalation and retention, you can let go of anger, resentment, envy, rancor.

Entrenched patterns of behavior doom us to relive the same events endlessly (Samskara freedom from habit). The point we are seeking to reach is where we can act directly in the present.

Repetition brings dullness, to avoid entrenched patterns of practice, turn your practice upside down to where you have to be right there.

Day 4:

BALANCINGS; transform OBSESSION using DETACHMENT

Detachment is the disciplinary safeguard of the yogic practitioner.

PRATYAHARA (detachment, restraint) literally means “to draw towards the opposite” as long as we let the senses pester us we will never get a moments peace. Be discerning, delay gratification, LESS IS MORE.

Bhagavad Gita “You have the right to work but not the fruits of work.  Look not for reward or inaction, perform work as a man established in himself, without selfish attachments and alike in success and defeat. For yoga is perfect evenness of mind.”

Day 5: BACKBENDS; transform PRIDE&EGO using COURAGE.

Without EGO you can take PRIDE in accomplishment.

To force your beliefs on others is pride is ego.

Pride deprives us of cosmic (universal) intelligence.

Individual and cosmic intelligence go hand in hand if we can break down the barrier of “my intelligence” and “my consciousness” where our combined intelligences can be called “instinctive” “insight” “intuition”

Patanjali said “What really would we see if the mind of man could still it’s restless waves for just an instant” and “yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the consciousness which must become passively alert”.

The more we practice with this the more self-control we gain, the more satisfaction we receive, the more freedom we feel. Freedom is the innermost desire in all our hearts, it makes possible our aspiration to love and be loved.