By Faye Martins and Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
How do we start teaching yoga students about abundance? Our yoga practice can help us access a greater sense of abundance, optimism, and well-being. Yet, it can be challenging to encourage our yoga students beyond the physical poses into this more profound state of awareness. Fortunately, in this article, we’ll explore some techniques to help unlock the abundance and optimism within our yoga students while assisting them to avoid those limiting beliefs that cause a lack or scarcity.
Abundance and Optimism
It is no secret that abundance and optimism are two of the most important keys to success in any area of life. The ability to see possibility and hope where others see limitation and despair is a superpower that can help you create the life of your dreams. As a yoga teacher, you have the unique opportunity to help your students unlock their abundance and optimism.
Using positive affirmations, visualization, and creative self-expression, you can help your students overcome any limiting beliefs holding them back. When your students embrace abundance and optimism, they open themselves to new possibilities. They become more confident in their ability to achieve their goals and start seeing the world in a new light. As their teacher, you get to be a part of that transformation – how amazing is that?
Since we are constantly bombarded with external messages that shape our perceptions, it’s no wonder that so many of us develop limiting beliefs. A limiting belief is any false or negative thought pattern that holds us back in life, preventing us from achieving our full potential. There are several ways to identify and overcome limiting beliefs. The first step is to become aware of the thoughts holding you back. Pay attention to the negative self-talk that runs through your head daily. What do you tell yourself about your ability to succeed? Do you focus on your limitations or your strengths?
Old Patterns of Thought
Once you’ve identified your negative thoughts, it’s time to start challenging them. Are they true? Is there any evidence to support them? Or are they just old patterns of thinking that no longer serve you? When you question your limiting beliefs, they lose their power over you. It can also be helpful to reframe your beliefs in a more positive light. For example, if you believe “I’m not good enough,” try saying, “I’m doing my best.” If you tell yourself, “I can’t do this,” try saying, “I can do this!”
Changing how you think about yourself and your abilities can open up new possibilities in your life. Last but not least, don’t forget the power of affirmations! Repeating positive statements about yourself can help counterbalance all the negative ones. When life changes are upon us, we often feel the anticipation. However, affirmations allow us to embrace change and find a positive solution. When it comes to yoga or any other activity, it’s essential to be aware of what might be holding us back. Our beliefs play a significant role in how we see ourselves and the world around us, so it’s no surprise they can significantly impact our yoga practice.
Strategies for Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
If we believe we’re not good enough or don’t deserve happiness, it won’t be easy to find contentment in our lives. These beliefs are called “limiting beliefs” because they limit our ability to experience all that life has to offer fully. The good news is, even though these beliefs might feel true, they’re usually not based in reality. We can let go of them and replace them with more empowering thoughts. Here are some strategies for overcoming limiting beliefs:
1. Acknowledge the belief and take some time to explore where it came from.
2. Question the belief – is it true? What evidence do you have to support it?
3. Create a more empowering belief to replace the old one. For example, “I am worthy of love and happiness” or “I am capable of achieving my goals.”
4. Practice your new belief by affirming it regularly and acting as if it were true. Eventually, it will become second nature.
Ways to Cultivate a Positive Mindset
You can help cultivate a positive mindset in your yoga students in many ways. One way is to encourage them to focus on the present moment and not dwell on past mistakes or negative experiences. You can also help them identify and question their limiting beliefs so they can start letting go of any self-imposed limitations. Additionally, it’s important to encourage an attitude of gratitude and emphasize the importance of positive self-talk. Here are some specific techniques that you can use to help your students develop a more positive mindset:
1. Teach them how to meditate and focus on the present moment.
2. Help them identify their limiting beliefs and start to question them.
3. Encourage an attitude of gratitude by having them keep a gratitude journal.
4. Get them to start using positive affirmations and self-talk.
Help Your Students Create an Abundant Lifestyle
1. Help them identify their limiting beliefs: The first step to helping your students create an abundant lifestyle is to help them identify any limiting beliefs they may have. This can be done through discussions, journaling, or other reflective exercises. Once they are aware of their limiting beliefs, they can begin to work on releasing them.
2. Teach them the power of affirmative statements: Another technique you can use to help your students create an abundant lifestyle is to teach them the power of affirmative words. Encourage them to make positive daily statements about themselves and their lives, such as “I am worthy of love and abundance” or “I am attracting abundance into my life.” These affirmations will help to retrain their minds to think more positively and expectantly about their lives.
3. Help them visualize abundance: A third way you can help your students create an abundant lifestyle is by imagining a lot in their lives. This can be done through guided visualization exercises, where you lead them through a visualization of themselves living abundantly – surrounded by plenty of money, good health, loving relationships, etc. By regularly visualizing abundance, they will begin attracting it into their lives.
Tips for Encouraging Positivity in Classes
1. Acknowledge and work with your students’ fears and doubts.
2. Help them to understand the concept of abundance.
3. Shift their focus from what they lack to what they have.
4. Encourage them to be grateful for what they have.
5. Help them to let go of perfectionism and expectations.
6. Encourage them to live in the present moment.
Meditation for Positive Energy
There are a variety of meditation practices that can be used to set intentions. The following are some specific techniques that can be used to help overcome limiting beliefs and create more abundance and optimism in your yoga students:
1. Have your students sit comfortably with their eyes closed. Instruct them to take a few deep breaths and relax their whole body.
2. Once they are relaxed, have them focus on their breath and count each inhale and exhale.
3. After a few minutes, have them visualize themselves achieving their goal or intention. What does it feel like and how does it appear? Get into the details of the visualization.
4. As they continue to hold the visualization, have them mentally repeat a positive affirmation related to their goal or intention (e.g., “I am worthy of abundance,” “I am deserving of success,” “I am full of optimism and joy,” etc.).
5. Finally, have them release the visualization and simply focus on their breath for a few minutes before slowly opening their eyes and returning to the present moment.
Food for Thought
Abundance and optimism begin within, and as yoga teachers, it is our responsibility to help students unlock these essential tools. Through teaching breathwork, journaling exercises, guided visualizations and more we can create a safe container in which students can connect to the power of choice that lies beyond the limitations set by limiting beliefs. With plenty of patience and creative guidance, your yoga students will soon realize how powerful they are when accessing this internal source of abundance and optimism.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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Teaching Yoga students how to improve their quality of life is what we do. Practicing the art of Yoga regularly helps to eradicate a sense of individual separateness and lack. The comprehensive art of Yoga is not just limited to physical asanas; it also includes breathing techniques, which increase the circulation of prana or life force energy, meditation, and contemplative practices that help ease anxiety, depression, and an abiding sense of separateness. A persistent and multifaceted sense of lack affects many individuals. Often this sense of lack is focused primarily on financial issues, but a sense of absence may also permeate many other areas of an individual’s life.
Identifying Areas of Lack
Teaching your students how to identify areas of lack in their lives and release the underlying beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that create and sustain that sense of lack is a gift that goes far beyond the Yoga mat. As a student begins to engage in regular Yoga practice, his or her overall sense of energy and well-being will increase substantially. This increased sense of well-being will help to generate a desire for even more health and well-being. For instance, a student’s diet may change, and his or her friends may shift toward others who are also walking a spiritual or Yogic path.
Not only are external changes promoted by regular Yoga practice, but inner shifts are also common. This is particularly true with negative thought patterns and beliefs that create a wide assortment of scarcity in one’s life. On a physical level, regular asana and pranayama practices help to generate more physical energy. This energy feels good; the more you do, the better you feel. Reminding your students to breathe throughout the class is one of the critical elements of increasing physical vibrancy and emotional well-being through the practice of the asanas.
Beginning a Yoga session with Bhastrika Pranayama or Bellows Breath is a great way to increase the inner fire or energy of the body. This will help to energize your students for the practice. Practicing Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Sounding Breath throughout their practice will also significantly increase tapas, the inner fire of Yoga. As you guide your students through a class, please encourage them to witness the thoughts that arise as they move through each posture. If the thoughts that arise are negative and limiting, remind your students to gently but firmly visualize the contracting thoughts dissolving into the sound of their breath as they exhale.
Closing Your Class
As they inhale, remind them to fill their feelings with self-empathy, hope, and optimism. In this way, your students will actively benefit from the physical asana practice and the internal psychological cleansing that the asana practice offers. Closing your class with a brief period of contemplation focused on abundance, optimism, and gratitude will leave your students feeling deeply nourished and supported by their physical and emotional well-being.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division