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Pratipaksa-Bhavana: a practice to cultivate the opposite

Updated: May 24


When we sat down to do our taxes recently, a lot came up. Thoughts and feelings of scarcity, not-enough-ness, possessiveness, victim-hood, defensiveness, avoidance, procrastination….I felt my body tensing up and felt myself holding my breath while Turbo Tax calculated how much we owed in taxes this year. I could feel my energy contracting while the amount kept creeping up.


Like any other relationship, our relationship with money can act as a mirror and give us information about ourselves to use for spiritual expansion. I drop into scarcity, victim-hood, and avoidance in other areas of my life as well -- these are not new or unique feeling states.


In the yoga sutras, there is a spiritual practice and principle, Pratipakṣa -Bhāvana, which teaches us to cultivate the opposite qualities when our energy is stuck or contracted in lower vibrations. For example, when I am stuck in the energy of scarcity, can I do the opposite and cultivate abundance by giving money away to someone who has less? When I am stuck in the energy of victim-hood, can I do the opposite and cultivate empowerment by acknowledging that I have choice and privilege to be self-employed in this country? When I am stuck in the energy of avoidance, can I do the opposite and look directly at what I am avoiding?


Thank you for being here!


With love,


Hana