Practicing Hatha Yoga: The Gateway to Happiness


Non-judgment is a universal principle that exists in Yoga and many religions. Judgment of noise, surroundings, smells, and sensations is a common distraction during Yoga meditation.

In Yoga, the mind is often compared to a monkey because of distraction, but judgment is different. When we judge, the mind classifies and categorizes everything, but the system of organization can be flawed if the mind is not tolerant, loving, and respectful of others.

Judging others is a “prison.” Yoga teaches us to avoid judgment of others. Many of us judge ourselves, and other people, too harshly. Do not expect others to fit into a “template” of what you consider to be ideal or moral.

Skin color, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, gender, age, or choice of a favorite ice cream flavor, are not significant reasons for us to judge each other. When your mind begins to judge others, “hold your tongue,” and be mindful.

Think carefully before taking action and purge your mind of negative thoughts. When we speak hateful words, we can apologize, but we cannot “strike them from the record.”

Do not turn your back on a person in need. If you do, even once, you will always regret it. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to help someone who needs you.

You cannot wait for success, giving, and happiness to come to you. The Yoga practitioner, who finds happiness – takes action, helps others, seizes the moment, and moves forward with optimism.

Many Yoga teachers speak of “living in the moment,” but many of us have past regrets. None of us can afford to waste time with negative thought.

If you find yourself regretting the past, learn from the experience, and move forward with newfound optimism. If you are in negative surroundings, you must make a concerted effort to change.

We must accept, what we cannot change, but we are in control of our present and the future. We have no control over natural disasters and the economy, but through Yoga practice, we can learn to appreciate our surroundings.

Each choice, we make, has a cumulative effect on our health and the lives of those around us. If we are content with our family, friends, and co-workers, we contribute to their happiness.

In turn, happiness and good health comes full circle and returns to us. Hatha Yoga, and all forms of Yoga, are for the health maintenance of mind, body, and spirit. When we take positive action, on a daily basis, through loving kindness, mindfulness, and optimism, we practice Yoga and open the “Gateway to Happiness.”

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. To receive a Free e-Book: “Yoga in Practice,” and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit:

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