By Paul Jerard

How can Yoga turn your life around? Where do you start? If you are a Yoga student, a steady practice is a good start. If you teach Yoga classes, and have students in need of help, where should they start? At least some of us see a need for a starting point, which is an early form of self-awareness.

In making a decision to change our lives, we need to know our perceived limitations. This viewpoint of limitations may not be based upon reality. Sometimes, a limitation is only a projection of our self-image. In other words: If I have low self-worth – are my thoughts about myself realistic?


The answer is: No; if I have a poor self-image, my thoughts would be limited by a negative mindset. In turn, a negative mindset blames everyone for everything. In such a case, nobody ever does anything right. Many complainers have poor self-esteem. Instead of designing a plan for the future, and searching for answers, it is easier to sit around and complain.

One more point about perceived limits: If your thoughts are based upon pure reality and logic, these thoughts will change with time. Any form of thinking is subject to change because it evolves with each life experience.

Therefore, when you design a plan to make a lifestyle change, you want to know yourself first. Any changes to the world around us must come from within – first.

Yoga allows the mind to find its natural balance. This Yogic state of balance may occur in the physical body first.

These subtle, physical changes, within the body, may be noticed if one practices Hatha Yoga (Union through Physical Self-Mastery). This is an early step for contemporary Yogis. People easily believe what they see when they notice physical changes in their own bodies.

The more subtle changes that occur within one’s mental, emotional, or spiritual health, take more time and patience to develop. Hatha Yoga practice may be considered the ultimate answer to physical mastery, but it is only a stepping stone on a path toward happiness.

For many of us, our biggest step is training the mind to become our best ally. Self-induced negativity is one of the greatest setbacks to humankind. Sometimes, whole countries and cultures believe they are worthless.

This state of cultural worthlessness occurs when a society’s leadership promotes pessimistic thought. Whether or not we live in a free society, the answer is to re-program our thinking toward a path of progress. Every form of Yoga contains methods for positive thinking.

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