April 8, 2015

Handling Negativity.

Urban Yoga

This week, I lost my voice completely.

Ironically, this occured at a time when I received some negative backlash. A small game of Chinese Whispers. Playground politics. This got me thinking about how I handle negativity.

My instant response is to get upset and see negativity as an attack, which makes me want to react.

This is the way that I used to deal with all of my problems, resulting in a rapidly escalating table tennis match of reactions, drama and negativity. I’m guessing, on some level, most people can relate to this.

Losing my voice while being somewhat of a yoga philosophy geek, got me thinking about the sixth limb of Ashtanga Yoga Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses) and how it relates to negativity.

When we hear something we don’t like, it’s easy to react and respond with words or actions, rather than seeing it as an opportunity to retreat and look within.

I might not like what has been said, but what is it teaching me?

Is there any truth in it?

Why am I attached to what has been said?

What does it say about my ego?

Why am I so attached to the acceptances and reassurance of others?

What can I learn from this experience?

What does it reflect back about me and the way I see myself?

I can still be quite insecure and can doubt myself, which is something to work on.

I’m not saying that it’s as easy as just letting go of everything that has been said to hurt us.

Action steps to combat negativity:

1. Respond, don’t react. This is something my grandma constantly told me. When you hear something you don’t like withdraw your senses. Look within and practice stillness for just a moment.

2. Observe what has been said and your reaction. Is there any truth in it? What can you learn from it? And what does it reflect about you and your journey?

3. Practice forgiveness. Forgive others, but most importantly, forgive yourself. It’s okay to get upset. We’re all on a journey.

4. Let it go! Why hold on to it any longer than you have to? If something doesn’t serve you remove yourself from it.

5. Put back out there what you want to attract. Like attracts like, so hatred only breeds hatred. Respond with kindness and manifest what it is you want to receive and who it is you want to be.

A story: There are two wolves inside of our mind. One represents love and the other represents hatred. Which one wins?

Whichever one we choose to feed.


Relephant Read:

Cult of Negativity


Author: Rebecca Hannah

Apprentice Editor: Keeley Milne/ Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo Credit: Flickr, courtesy of author


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Rebecca Hannah

Rebecca Hannah founded Urban Lotus Yoga in May 2012. With a background in yoga, conditioning, theatre/circus and personal development she aims to give a modern twist to an ancient practice. Rebecca’s aim is to create yoga classes and routines for everyday people, who can often be intimidated by some of the myths and preconceptions surrounding yoga.
She trained as an Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher with All Yoga Thailand (Yoga Alliance accredited). Her training and experience in yoga also includes yoga philosophy, anatomy, pranayama (yogic breathing) and meditation. The styles of yoga that she trains in include Rocket yoga, Dharma Mittra yoga, Acro yoga and Yin yoga.

As a teacher and student Rebecca is constantly trying to develop her knowledge, experience, philosophy and  lifestyle and surrounding yoga. It is her belief that we never stop being a student and through her ongoing quest to develop her training and knowledge of yoga, she hopes to be able to cater for as many of my students needs and goals as possible. Having lead workshops and projects, both nationally and Internationally, she aims to offer an innovative approach to yoga and fitness. Fusing together what what she has learned to create funky, fresh and fun routines that build the best strength, stamina and flexibility.

Aside from yoga, Rebecca’s experience includes over eight years in youth work, rehabilitation, specialist education and social enterprise.

She places a strong emphasis on diversity, equality and individuality—reflected in her classes and teaching.