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YOGA corner

Yoga and self confidence

Pauline Sebina

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One of the definitions of self-confidence is “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities and judgement”. And some of the antonyms are diffidence, insecurity, self-distrust, self-doubt.

What really steals our self-confidence?
Sometimes it is very small remarks, actions or gestures to little boys and girls in their innocence. The seemingly harmless talk or action by parents, relatives, peers, friends, sow a seed of inadequacy, feeling of not being loved, feeling of being “less than” the other person, and so on. Sometimes it is serious unpleasant experiences which impacted the boy-child or girl-child negatively. Because as we grow up, we are not taught how to deal with negative emotions, they pile up, ferment until the body and mind can’t handle them anymore. Then they manifest into insecurity, self-distrust, self-doubt… The more the mind keeps replaying what people said or did the more it gets validated, and it is brought to life.

As we grow up, for as long as we have not purposefully done any program to rid ourselves of negative emotions, they stay, and the play in the mind becomes more “sophisticated” as well, it goes to another level. At the teen level, the behavior you see is about wanting to prove yourself to the world, to show people that you are better, more beautiful, aggression creeps in, selfishness creeps in anger, and before you know it delinquency of sorts sets in. Ultimately unhappiness and depression come.

At the adult level the negative emotions continue to manifest in different shapes and colors. It creeps up in family relations as lack of peace, lack of love, lack of togetherness… It creeps up in work relations as aggression, arrogance, being insensitive to others, fueling fights, abuse, or selling oneself to seek favors, etc. In church relations it creeps in as jealousy, gossip, ill feeling towards others. The list goes on…

In all these situations yoga does help. Remember “Yoga” in all the past 13 articles refers to the regular practice of a combination of yoga stretches, breathing exercises and meditation. As you’ve been following from the previous articles, regular practice of Yoga brings inner peace, calmness, self-discovery, self-confidence, self-worth. Peace of an individual leads to improved relations within the family, community, nation, and ultimately to world peace. Art of Living programs present the opportunity to make 2019 a year of good change.

More next week…

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YOGA corner

YOGA AND GOOD HEALTH

Pauline Sebina

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While we’re still on the mental benefits of meditation, I wish to take a moment to appreciate the increasing awareness about wholistic yoga (yoga stretches, breathing exercises and meditation) in Botswana, judging from the inquiries we receive at Art of Living, especially the referrals from medical doctors and practitioners of mental wellness.

The reality is that meditation is a practical tool that addresses problems from the depth, not superficially. As you’ve seen from the previous articles, its benefits cut across many medical conditions but also just promotes a very good state of wellbeing. Let’s consider the next mental benefit of how meditation is the best tool to remove bad habits like smoking, or over indulgence in alcohol, for those who have an earnest desire to stop.

Meditation is good at helping get rid of bad habits because it creates or raises self-awareness. It reaches unimaginable depth of one’s core of existence, that only brings out the truth about us and our situation. It takes one past the delusions that one tends to hide behind to remain in a comfort zone.

When the truth gets revealed to you, there’s no argument or debate, no bias, no judgement, no justification, no need to defend yourself, it’s just the truth! This is unlike when someone tells you of your weakness or shortcoming. This is what makes meditation effective, and it becomes a lot easier to deal with as well as eliminate the habit from its root cause.

Consequently, you’re able to see the reality about life without that bad habit. Imagine how many lives, families, marriages, careers are destroyed due to bad habits by children, spouses, parents, workers, friends and so on. All is not lost, as meditation provides you with the chance to claim back your purposeful life.

Related to the benefit of breaking habits is that of breaking addictions. Meditation gives a natural “high” much better than the destructive “high” from drugs or alcohol which just leads to a regrettable crash. Meditation does not only deal with the addiction, but will also deal with the root cause of the addiction, presenting a longer lasting solution.

On 25th May 2019 at 3.30pm there’ll be a live Peace Meditation with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar the Founder of Art of Living Foundation as part of his yearly peace initiative of “I Meditate Africa” – www.bit.ly/VoiceOfAfrica.

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YOGA corner

YOGA AND GOOD HEALTH

Pauline Sebina

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We concluded last week’s Yoga Corner with the introduction of ‘meditation and good health’, highlighting the vastness of the subject and that there isn’t a part of our lives that is not touched or affected by meditation.

Starting with the category of physical benefits, and with probably the most favorite of slow aging, I’m sure that most us would like to slow down the aging process, especially in the most natural and harmless way.

Studies have shown that experienced meditators often look a lot younger than their «true» age, and they also arguably live longer than people who do not practice meditation as a lifestyle.
Scientific studies have been published, which I will not delve in to avoid being technical, explaining why meditation is the very best way to freeze “father time”, but I encourage those interested on the details to read more on the subject.

According to leading health and longevity researchers, stress accelerates our biological clock leaving us looking and feeling old long before our time (as you read this you may even think of one or two people yourself). Mediation is a natural tool to counter stress, hence slowing down the biological clock so to speak.

Granted there are very few people who are not yogis but still live even beyond a hundred. And if you were to interview these people, you would find that their general disposition is that of inner peace, very little or no stress at all. These are the fortunate ones. Most of us need to make an effort to reach the state of inner peace amidst chaotic surroundings. This is where meditation as part of yoga comes in.

The next physical benefit is that of beating addiction whether it is alcohol, tobacco, food, coffee, prescriptions, illegal substances, the list goes on. Researchers have found that there are physiological and psychological reasons why meditation is the best, most effective way to naturally overcome any addiction. It has been proven to give a “natural high” through the brain’s “happiness center”.

Indeed, the brain researchers have built a mountain of evidence showing that meditation can help immensely in beating addiction, healthily and naturally. When one practices meditation regularly, the mind develops the power as well as the inner strength to observe the coming and going of urges and cravings without emotions and in a detached manner. More next week……..

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