Today is the Spring Equinox and even if it doesn’t feel like it the seasons are changing. In spirit of spring cleaning I’ve been doing a gluten, dairy, and alcohol free cleanse.
The change of season can bring time for clearing and shedding the unnecessary excess in our lives. This winter I noticed I’ve been carrying around too many negative thoughts about my body. So as I replace my heavy pasta meals with tasty juices cleanse my system of dairy, gluten and alcohol I’ll also be trying to shed the self-loathing thoughts.
So how am I going to begin shedding thoughts that have lived within me most of my life? I’ll begin by practicing prakti paksha bhavana or cultivating the opposite.
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Sutra II.33 Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavana (When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana.). Basically, to control the mind and obstruct the thoughts that we do not want, we invite in the opposite thoughts. Creating a positive environment by controlling the words you read and shows you watch is the practice of pratipaksha bhavana. Removing negative thoughts by replacing them with positive ones.
Just as quinoa pasta is my substitute for my favorite Barilla, thoughts like “my legs are healthy and strong” are replacing “my thighs are huge”. Eventually the positive thoughts will replace the negative, it just takes time and practice. For now I’m focusing on pratipaksha bhavana, tasty juices, and hoping for warm weather!
Live Light Practice:
Begin each day with a gratitude journal listing at least five things you are grateful for. Then throughout the day each time you have a negative thought replace it with a positive one.