Health And Wellness

How To Relieve Pain Using The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali

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woman doing yoga

The practice of yoga is about the body and mind. And the oldest book on yoga, the "Yoga Sutra Of Patanjali," talks about finding relief from pain.

Pain trickles down from the mind to the heart to the body — and it's never a fun process.

Both emotional and physical pain starts out as a painful thought. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that you are hurting because of the way you're thinking, yet it’s true.

Everything in your life began as a thought. You wanted something either consciously or subconsciously. That’s how you create your reality.

Now, if you enjoy what you have, you continue to build on it and create more of it. But when you hurt, how do you find relief?

Mental pain causes emotional pain which when left unresolved causes physical pain.

Since everything begins in the mind, how does the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali help with pain relief?

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a collection of four books and 196 aphorisms on the theory and practice of yoga. It teaches how to live a healthy and happy life.

Step-by-step strategies are laid out for you to find relief from past pain and prevent future pain.

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Before you get into it, remember that knowledge isn’t power — applied knowledge is.

Motivation gets you started and commitment keeps you going to help you enjoy the fruits of your efforts.

In most spiritual paths, the steps get harder as you proceed. But, here, it’s the opposite. As you master one step, the next one gets easier.

Here are the 9 steps presented by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali for a pain-free life.

1. Don’t be violent — be kind.

The practice of non-violence is the premise of yoga. Gandhi helped India gain freedom from its colonizers using non-violence.

Being subjugated by a foreign nation is painful. A nation freed itself from the pain of colonial domination using nonviolence.

Now, if a nation can do it, so can you.

Kind thoughts lift you up while unkind thoughts drag you down. Unkind thoughts are seeds of violence. Even when directed towards someone else, they hurt you before they hurt anyone else.

Also, entertaining a painful memory is violence towards yourself.

So, next time you engage in a negative thought, emotion, words, or action, remember you are inflicting pain on yourself.

The sooner you catch yourself, the easier it is to step away from the pain. Replace the hurtful thought with a helpful thought.

This helpful thought will give rise to a helpful emotion, which when nurtured will parlay into helpful words and actions.

2. Don't lie — stick to the truth.

"Satyameva Jayate" means "Truth alone triumphs" and is a mantra from the Upanishads. It was adopted as the national motto of India the day India became a republic.

When truth can be a national motto, it can be a personal motto too, right? When you stick to the truth, worries lessen and eventually disappear.

Though at times truth feels scary, yet only truth sets you free. Learn to tap into your brave heart and begin the practice of being honest with yourself.

This will make you experience freedom in all forms. The practice of honesty makes you attract others who engage in honesty. Life just gets a little lighter.

3. Don't steal — take only what you've been given.

The wise ones from ancient times taught that when you take something that is not given to you, it is theft.

4. Say "no" to weakness — focus on strength.

The universe is a spiritual gym and your world is your mental and emotional gym.

Each conversation you have with yourself or someone else, you are presented with the opportunity to either succumb to weaknesses or flex your mental and emotional muscles and grow stronger.

Your strength is your pride that makes you shine and grow attractive. There's nothing attractive about weakness, is there?

As you grow stronger, you realize that you are the creator of your reality. You realize that focussing on short-term gains creates long-term pain.

Now is the time to focus on strength and long-term gains.

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5. Don't covet, crave, or cling.

When you find yourself lusting over something you just saw, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched, ask yourself, "Do I really need more of this now?" Be honest when you respond to this question.

Buddha said, "What you own, owns you."

Most of the things you think you need you really do not. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the ultimate need is the need for self-fulfillment.

You cannot have fulfillment if you're struggling with basic needs. But when your basic needs are met, anything beyond that is a need arising from your ego.

Such egotistical needs create a burden, slow you down, and hurt you.

Be brave enough to let go and live free.

6. Live clean.

You deserve cleanliness of thoughts, emotions, words, and actions. Pain cannot dwell in a clean mind and a clean body.

7. Live content.

Contentment means authentic happiness with who you are, what you do, and what you have.

8. Live with discipline.

It’s possible when you practice tender love and care with yourself. Develop the mindset of focusing on long-term results.

Create a habit of replacing what hurts you with what helps you in finding relief from pain.

Also, a disciplined lifestyle helps you avert self-doubt and despair.

9. Live as an observer.

Make self-observation a continuous practice. This helps you slow down.

Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Take responsibility for your reality to gain more control and power.

When you know yourself, you connect with the divine and learn to love yourself.

Continuous practice of the previous eight steps makes self-observation easier.

According to Dr. John Kappas, founder of Kappasinian Hypnotherapy, 12 percent of your mind is the conscious mind and eighty-eight percent of it is your subconscious. Your subconscious thoughts are the thoughts you are not aware of when you're thinking them.

So, when you're in pain, it’s a wise and loving practice to withdraw and reflect on the source of your pain.

Self-observation helps you get to the cause of your pain and therefore is more effective than seeking symptomatic relief.

Self-observation gets easier when you give yourself the time and space to heal your hurt and receive learning.

The purpose of any pain is to show you how beautiful and powerful you are. When you receive this learning, the pain dissolves.

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Keya Murthy, M.S., is a spiritual life coach, a clinical hypnotherapist, and founder of Ventura Healing Center. She is passionate about helping her clients move through their circumstances, find their purpose, and authentic happiness. She is an international best-selling author and her books are available on Amazon.