Thoughts are very powerful. Everything manifests from our thoughts. If we have negative thoughts most of the time, we will be attracting negative energy or elements around us and in our lives. Like wise if we have positive thoughts all the time, we will be attracting positive energy or elements into our lives.
In a yoga class, there are different people with different states of mind. Some are positive and some are negative. There is nothing wrong about being negative. It is a very normal thinking or feeling that everyone has. But if I start to think that I am not good at doing anything; that I am going to injure myself if I do this movement or exercise; or I am going to be sick if I don’t eat enough of a particular food; or I am going to be weak if I don’t eat meat, and then for sure this will be what’s going to happen onto me, to my body.
In yoga classes, it is very important that whether the teachers themselves are positive or negative. Yoga practice is about balancing, purifying, controlling and directing the energy fields in the body and influencing the state of the mind. Willpower is the force that influence and direct the energy in our body. When we concentrate at particular point in our body, we are actually directing or gathering the energy towards that area. Yoga practice is not just doing some physical exercises where an instructor is standing in front of a group of people, instructing them to do some physical exercises. There is also some energy exchange is going on between the teacher and the students. It is not something to be seen with our fleshy eyes or to be discussed about. It is intentionless, nameless and formless. It happens naturally when the yoga teacher is sincere to share the knowledge of yoga with other people without the idea of “I am a teacher, and I am giving my energy to the students”. In fact, if we do not identified with the body, the mind and the ego, we are only being an instrument or channel for other people to receive the knowledge of the Truth. It is not 'I' that is doing the teaching or giving the energy to the students. This energy is pure, and it's coming from the universe, not from 'I' or this body where our own energy fields is a mixture of positive and negative.
If we are still not yet disidentified with the body and the mind, then when we teach a yoga class, we are actually transferring our own energy to the students whether we are aware of it or not, even though when we have no intention to do so. That’s why some yoga teachers get very tired; exhausted and low energy level after giving classes. And they need to perform their own personal practice to replenish the lost energy. But this will not happen on a yoga teacher who does not identify with the body, the mind, the ego and the actions of teaching.
And so, if we have negative thinking all the time and are full of negative energy in us, the people who are coming to our classes will be influenced by our energy fields and receiving these negativity from us. There are some forms of energy exchange with one another all the time without us realize about it. Every moment we might be absorbing different types of energy coming from everyone else and everything in the world without us being aware of it.
Only those who do not identify with the body and the mind will not be influenced, or affected, or disturbed by all these energy fields. Usually people who have very strong willpower will be less affected by external energy fields. While people with very weak willpower will be affected very much by external energy fields.
By knowing this, we will understand that when two people live together for some time, they will start to look alike with each other and they will be having the similar personality, thinking, gestures and mood as well. Positive people can uplift some other people who are negative and depressed. While negative people might pull down some other people if these people are low in energy and have weak willpower.
Group energy has a very strong influential power towards those who are very sensitive towards external energy fields. When we walk into a room that is full of people who are very anxious and furious, immediately we will be feeling anxious and agitated as well. When we are being with a group of people who are very cheerful and happy, immediately we will be feeling good and happy as well. Like wise if we are being with a group of people who are very depressed and negative, we will be feeling depressed and become very negative as well.
The leader of a group in any fields has got the huge influence power to affect all the other people in the group. People are paying attention to this leader and admire this leader. And thus the energy from the leader is directly absorbed into the people’s energy fields and the people will become like minded and agree with the leader.
And thus, the energy field of the yoga teacher is a very important factor that determines whether the yoga class is helping the students to become more positive, cheerful, peaceful and wise, or not. Because most people will easily be influenced, or affected, or disturbed by others’ energy fields especially from a leader, or a teacher. Most of the school children who are in the same class under a same teacher will be having the similar type of mentality, morality and behaviors. Everyone is being mold into certain types of personality and behavior without us being aware of it. We all think that we have our very own personal type of mentality and behavior pattern, but actually we are imitating some other people constantly.
If people had been watching John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever, and the next few weeks, we would see lots of people on the street were walking the same way and had the similar expressions as John Travolta’s character in that movie.
When a person is being with a group of friends who like to gamble or smoke or drink, and very naturally this person will be doing the same activities as well, unless he or she has a very strong willpower. Look around us, this is what happening in the world.
The yoga teacher has got the ability or power to influence the students to become positive or negative whether intentionally or unintentionally.
If the yoga teacher has fear and negativity about getting injuries in doing the exercises or asana poses, then most of the students will be having the same fear and negativity as well; and will easily get hurt or injuries from doing the exercises and asana poses, because they believe so.
If the yoga teacher is very positive and has no fear and worries at all towards all the exercises and asana poses, then most of the students will be full of courage and confidence while performing all the exercises and asana poses without any fear and worries of getting any injuries. And thus the class will be injury free.
It is because when people easily get muscle soreness or injuries from doing any exercises or asana poses is due to the tensions in the muscles caused by mental tension of fear and worries while performing the exercises or asana poses. The mind is limiting the ability of the physical body to perform the exercise or asana poses. When we have fear and worries, the mind tense up; as well as the entire physical body also tense up. When the muscles are tensed, muscles fiber tear, or muscles pull or cramps could happen easily.
Especially when we perform the headstand, if a person is relaxed while performing the pose and has no fear or worries about getting injured from falling down, his or her body and muscles will be relaxed even though if he or she does fall down from the headstand, but it will not generate any injuries at all. Like wise, if the person is full of fear and worries that he or she might get hurt from falling down, then all his or her body muscles will tense up especially in the neck, the shoulders and the back area while performing the headstand. And if he or she does fall down from the headstand, all the muscles in the neck, the shoulders and the back area are so tensed that muscles fiber tears, muscles pull or cramps could occur when he or she falls to the ground with the hips instead of relaxing the muscles and roll down with the back rounded, or landing on the ground with the feet and not the hips. When the muscles are relaxed, the muscles can be stretched to a further extend that it won’t cause any muscle fiber tears, muscles pull or cramps.
Look at the children who have no fear and worries. They can fall down as many times as they like whether intentionally or unintentionally while playing or exercising, and not getting any serious injuries except a few bruises or cuts. Unless the falling impact is very strong and the bones density is not so healthy, then there might be possibility of getting broken bones or bone fractures. Such people should avoid falls or high impact movements during any activities. We need to have an open mind to try to perform all the activities without the negative thinking of getting injuries but we need to know what is the limitation of our physical body and not injuring ourselves blindly. But certainly not to stop ourselves from trying any activities due to fear and worries, or afraid of doing certain exercises or asana poses because we think we will be injured if we try to do them.
Although having a little concern about protecting ourselves from meaningless injuries is something good and will keep ourselves from getting injuries meaninglessly. But do not let the fear and worries conquering or over-powering our mind. This will stop us from doing many things that we could actually do. We always under estimate the ability of our body and the mind. That’s why yoga practice is dealing with the mind first before we move on in the physical yoga practice. If we are full of negative thoughts, the entire path will become negative as well.
This is the mind. Our mind limits us from doing many things, it's not the limitation of the physical body. The physical body is strong and flexible enough to perform many activities but the mind is limiting the body to do so due to fear and worries – lack of faith, courage and confidence.
If ten years ago my body was suffering from certain injuries but that doesn’t determine that now I cannot perform the activities that I couldn’t do when I was having the injuries ten years ago.
Every moment the condition of our body and the mind is different. Be very open minded and free ourselves from negativity. Enjoy whatever we are doing without any fear and worries. Things will be much easier and enjoyable when the mind is relaxed and the body is tension free. All the exercises or asana poses that we thought they were difficult and dangerous will become easy and not dangerous anymore if we can let go the negative thinking of “the body might get some injuries from doing this or that” or “I think I can never do this or that” or “Most probably I will fall down from this position and hurt my neck or my back”.
It is the same in all our activities in life as well. Free ourselves from negative thinking. Be positive and open minded. We will see the entire world from a very different perspective and conception. Our life will be easier and happier.
Before the realization of the truth of names and forms, the mind is under the influence of duality. If so, the practice of positive thinking exists to counter negative thinking, so that the mind is not over-whelmed by negative thinking. Upon the realization of the truth of names and forms, where everything is just what it is, that everything are neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, then the mind doesn't even need to be positive or think positive to counter any negativity or negative thinking, as there's nothing positive or negative. That is freedom.