Yoga Psychology

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How to Change an Unhelpful Habit

We have a lot of desires, a lot of selfishness. Yet, we also understand, that if we become selfless, we become happy. You might ask, “What can I do if I can’t get rid of my unyogic desires?” You have to analyze your motives. Over what actions are you selfish? And by...

Yoga Psychology: Addressing the Root Causes of Dis-Ease

When emotions such as loss, fear, anger, rejection, abandonment, or depression strike, what can you do to return to your center of peace and equanimity? You can look within. When you look within, answers come. Question yourself: Why am I angry? Anger is caused by your...

For Anyone Contemplating Suicide—Choosing Life: Suicide Prevention & Hope / Advice from Swami Satchidananda

A message from Lifeline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for...

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Yoga-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Based on his personal experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks and anxiety, Boris Bhagavan Pisman, MS, NCC, developed a Yoga-based approach to recovery. In this interview, he talks about his journey and how he integrates the best of Yoga...

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What Yoga Teaches Us About Emotional Pain

One of Patanjali’s sutras buried in the Second Pada is: "Pain that has not yet come is avoidable" (2.16). This is very similar to, I would even say, exactly, what the Buddha taught: that suffering can end—as stated in the Third Noble Truth—though we hardly seem to get...

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Overcoming Fear, Anger, and Depression

Fear, anger, and depression are all related. It all starts with fear. You want something and you become afraid of not getting it, or you get it, and you become afraid of losing it. There is a beautiful sequence in the Bhagavad Gita that illustrates this point. First...

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“As You Think, So You Become”

There is a Sanskrit saying that Swami Satchidananda often quoted: “Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha mokshayoho.” It means: “As the mind, so the individual. Bondage or liberation are in the mind.” In other words, “As you think, so you become.” If you think well, you...

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Emotional Self-Mastery

Emotions are part of the mind and are one part of its functioning. According to Raja Yoga, there are several different ways the mind functions: the analytic mind, the feeling mind, the thinking mind and the desiring mind. Some people think if you are a big yogi, you...

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Yoga and the Trauma Sensitive Person

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He has pioneered the use of Yoga as a therapy that is helping these individuals to work through their PTSD and regain a sense of mastery that has...

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The Yogic View of Emotional Health

Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, son of  Dr. Swami Gitananda and director of the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER) in Pondicherry, India, continues the scientific work of  his father. In this article, Dr. Bhavanani gives a beautiful overview...

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Vedanta and Psychotherapy

Vedanta and Psychotherapy would seem at opposite ends of the spectrum. Vedanta asserts that all is Brahman and psychotherapy has the psyche as its focus. But as Swami Tadatmananda, a senior disciple of  Sri Swami Dayananda (one of the most respected Vedantis)...

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The Yoga of Recovery

Durga Leela is a clinical Ayurveda and Pancha Karma specialist who has been involved with 12-step programs for the past 13 years. She developed the Yoga of Recovery to help those struggling with addictions lead new, empowered lives. In this interview, she discusses...

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