Yoga Psychology

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Anger as a Tool for Change

If you need to correct somebody’s behavior, to get them to stop some negative action, you may have to use anger. By doing that, you are “punishing” their mistakes, but you are not punishing the person. You are not hating them. It’s like the child in a classroom, who...

Pandemic Panic: The Science of our Fear Response

I've found myself feeling weird amid the COVID-19 crisis. I use this vague and understated label “weird” because I’ve yet to find a more specific adjective to properly encompass what’s happening internally. As a yogi, I’m supposed to be all zen during a crisis, right?...

How to Analyze Your Anger

When anger arises, the mind becomes deluded. The Bhagavad Gita has two beautiful slokas about this: From brooding on sense objects, attachment to them arises. Out of that attachment, personal desire is born. And from desire, anger appears. Anger confuses the thinking...

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What is the One Thing We All Want?

What is the One Thing We All Want?

Some people love to travel. If you ask, “Why do you want to travel?" they may say, “To see a lot of places.” “So if you see a lot of places, what will happen?”  “Well, I’ll be happy.” “If you ask the travel agent, why are you making all those arrangements for them to...

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How to Change an Unhelpful Habit

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...

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Yoga-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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

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

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”

“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

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

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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