Everyone has their own interpretation of what yoga means to them, but on the most general level, we can probably all agree that it has everything to do with expanding our awareness and discovering the truth about who we really are. And the more we practice, the more we become aware of certain limiting beliefs we never even realized we had.
Some limiting beliefs are formed when we’re very young, most of which are set into our subconscious minds by the time we’re seven years old. As we continue to grow, we create experiences that match the beliefs we’ve developed. These beliefs shape everything we do and even discourage us from seizing opportunities that may benefit us in some way.
If you’re someone who has or wants to become more aware of their limiting beliefs so that they can be eliminated and replaced with more positive beliefs, you can use a combined meditation and journaling practice to do so. Here are some tips on how to do this.
No need to sit in the traditional lotus position to do this. You can sit comfortably on a chair, couch, bed, or floor with your legs bent or straight — making sure to maintain good posture. Close your eyes or leave them open if you want and relax as you expand your awareness. Let your mind run naturally without trying to control the thoughts that come up.
Identify Negative Thoughts
Soon after entering your meditative state, start to become aware of any negative thought patterns. Remember not to try to manipulate them in any way — just watch them. Simply becoming aware of them is powerful enough to to slowly start eliminating them from your subconscious, without evening changing anything.
Write Them Down
Once you’ve gently taken yourself out of your meditative state 10 to 20 minutes later (or longer if you so choose), it’s time to grab a blank piece of paper or open up a fresh page in a notebook to write down what you’ve just discovered. Writing out statements like “I am not attractive enough to find true love,” or “I am too old to embark on a new career path” are good examples of how you might drill down complicated thought patterns into something clearer and more concise.
Read each statement several times over and ask yourself why you believe it. Write down everything you can think of about why you believe it, making sure to also describe how it makes you feel. Dive deep and identify the source of it if you can. Even if you’re not totally certain where it came from, write down any ideas.
Now it’s time to ask yourself whether the limiting beliefs you’ve identified and examined are actually true. Look for proof in the writing you did in the previous step. For example, if you discovered that you simply took on the belief because you were influenced by a parent or teacher when you were a child, then that’s not adequate enough proof to be absolutely true.
Destroy and Recreate
When you find your limiting beliefs to be untrue, which all or most of them probably will turn out to be, you’ll need to develop a clear statement that invalidates it. You can write, think, or say something out loud like, “I have no proof that [belief] is true, so I no longer believe it.” You can then create a brand new positive belief statement to take its place by writing it down, thinking it, or saying it out loud.
Limiting beliefs will take time and practice to change into positive ones. Make a commitment to increase your awareness every time those beliefs pop up again in your everyday life so you can remind yourself that they’re untrue and replace them with the positive belief you’ve chosen.