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Control Your Emotions With Yoga

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The breath and the mind go hand in hand. As one changes, the other also changes. In yoga there are techniques for controlling the mind. These techniques are difficult and mastering them takes a long time. The mind is non-physical and elusive. Its a difficult animal to tame directly. But the breath is something tangible. You can control your breathing. You can use your breathing to control your mind and your emotions.

Yoga asanas (the postures or stretching and bending)have a significant effect on the emotions. The asanas which are combined with special yoga breathing techniques are so effective that blood pressure is significantly lower at the end of a yoga class than it was before the class.

With all of the yoga practices, we try to do as many things as possible to permit the mind to become calm and peaceful. The yogic vegetarian diet plays a significant role in this process. The yogic diet is different from the normal vegetarian diet in that it is not only concerned with the health benefits to the body, but it is also concerned with the subtle influences that food has on the mind. Yogi have found over thousands of years that onions and garlic and heavy spices strongly influence the emotions and make the mind restless and more difficult to control. This influence is subtle but is readily noticed if one abstains from them for a while and then tries them again. It is not unlike drinking coffee after having abstained from it for a long time. We suddenly realize what a powerful influence it has on our consciousness. It should be noted here that the yogi particularly abstains from these things in order to facilitate his or her meditation and a raising of the consciousness.

Lastly, karma yoga (service of humanity or selfless service), is a techniques followed by many paths and spiritual disciplines. Whatever self-improvement effort one is making or whatever spiritual path one is on, servicing others with the consciousness that we are all part of the same human family is the mortar that binds all of our practices together. This consciousness breaks down the barriers that separate individuals and, eventually, even nations. This practice, by focusing on helping others, instead of being self-centered is one of the most effective means of developing a quiet, peaceful consciousness.