“Yoga is skill in communication. Yoga is the skill to communicate with people.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, also the founder of Art of Living, one of the largest volunteer driven NGO’s in the world today, offers the layman certain skills in dealing with praise and criticism.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar states that it is Yoga that shows the way. Although Yoga is an ancient Indian practice or way of life it contains many gems of wisdom that are still applicable in modern times.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar states that, “Yoga keeps you in a state of equilibrium. A yogi is free from the clutches of praise and insult.”
How is that you may wonder? Regular practitioners of yoga techniques like bhastrika, asanas, pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya will tell you that over time yoga has brought a calming effect on their Nervous System, making them feel a great sense of wellbeing over a period of time. No matter how angry a person was by nature, it has been found that Yoga is an effective technique in completely diminishing such bouts of anger.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shares a Sanskrit proverb which says – “You should be more watchful of friends than enemies. If someone comes and praises you in a big way you get sold out to that person, you even become blind to that person’s mistakes!”
We needn’t worry so much with enemies because, “Enemies are transparent…we know they are our enemies.”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar points out that we need to be more watchful in the company of our friends because, “Friends may induct you into wrong practices or wrong thinking without you even realizing it – because you trust them!”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar reminds us of our natural tendency which is to stay away from someone who insults us: “You cut off communication with them. You stop them at arm’s length; even run a mile away from them!”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar quotes a famous couplet sung by an Indian saint: Keep the one who blames you close by – he keeps your courtyard clean! Because every time you make a mistake he’s there ready to point a finger at you. He keeps you alert and on your toes!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar encourages us not to shy away from criticism. He points out that “Our ability to accept criticism and walk through it indicates how much we have grown. Otherwise, just a small criticism – and we’re off! It’s not good! This gives people a chance to put you off balance with just one criticism.”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s final word of advice:
“Yoga is that which brings balance. Asanas bring a dual benefit of a healthy mind and healthy body. Just as you require dental hygiene you require mental hygiene! Just as you brush your teeth daily doing some yoga, pranayamas and meditation on a daily basis is a must!”
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