Savasana Pose Yoga

A Better Life and a Better World

A great life. Sounds good, doesnt it? Even a better life sounds good. But why not go for the great life? For most people in yoga poses, the answer is that a great life is not part of the process. You may gain insight into your behaviors and appreciation for events that shaped you, but greatness doesnt enter the equation. You are there to talk, and the assumption is that after a considerable time, you may use what you learn to diminish your problems.

These are modest aspirations, and if you fall within the broad range of normal, they are overly modest. Yoga aims higher, and it gives you tools to hit the target. In this blog I have discussed how normal people can use yoga to aspire to the life they deeply desire. You can set big goals, incrementally implement changes, and build the life you want. Yoga allows you to work toward changing behaviors while you enjoy yourself more along the way.

I want normal people to have a way of pursuing their personal work without the pathologizing of the traditional yoga poses process. Everyone who embarks on this kind of work should be affirmed for doing it. This isnt just positive thinking. While I advocate optimism and forward thinking, I also believe that happiness and satisfaction resulting from yoga require vision, goal-setting, and the hard work it takes to land outcomes.

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As I stated early on, this by no means is an anti-yoga poses blog. Instead, it is a pro-yoga blog, proclaiming an emerging field whose time has come. Again, I have huge respect for the training of therapists, but I do believe that a revolution of technique and philosophy is necessary. Therapists who treat normal people must become more clientcentric and more outcome- oriented. They also must become more multidimensional, recognizing that Self is only one of eleven spheres. They need to be willing to refer their clients to other professionals if they lack expertise in a given area.

And Yogis need to consider obtaining clinical training so they can understand normal human development, and the basics of clinical treatment of mental illness and addictions. Over a period of time, most Yogis will need to deal with these issues and must be familiar with symptoms and solutions.

Burt is president and founder of a video game company. He engaged the services of a coach, Dennis, to help him become a better leader and raise company revenues. However, in the early sessions it became clear to Dennis that Burt had some significant problems that would have to be addressed before progress in yoga could be made: Burt was depressed (not sleeping, not concentrating, not enjoying himself, feeling guilty, not eating well); paranoid (thought people were against him); had several untreated medical problems (high cholesterol, diabetes); and was terrified of people discovering that he was having a secret affair with a woman his daughters age. So Dennis had to address these symptoms before Burt could begin the executive yoga. If they werent addressed first, Burt would try to hide his problems and end up sabotaging the process. Therefore, Dennis referred Burt to a primary care physician to help with the medical problems and to a psychiatrist to deal with the depression and the paranoia. Once these problems were being managed, Dennis started to coach Burt. It was only at this point that Burt was capable of focusing on his leadership, business issues, and secret affair. Without dealing with the issues in other spheres, Burts attention would have been elsewhere; his energy would have been devoted to nonbusiness matters; and he would have responded to yoga suggestions and plans halfheartedly.

In yoga, people are capable of great leaps up the ladder of life satisfaction, but they need to approach that ladder with an understanding of weaknesses and strengths, a vision, a plan, and a willingness to make changes holistically rather than narrowly. They also need to understand just how wide-ranging yogas benefits can be how it can be useful not only for individuals but also for organizations, communities, and nations. Ill talk about these wide-ranging benefits in a bit, but first I want to emphasize the attitude that best facilitates the yoga process.

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