Try as we might to live our lives peacefully and lovingly, it is almost inevitable that some interpersonal conflict will happen. Whether it’s being bullied by a classmate or co-worker, having a hard time with a neighbor, or living with deep-seated family issues, these conflicts can be very emotionally draining. If you find yourself in a situation where another person is constantly attacking you verbally or emotionally, there are ways to protect yourself and maintain your emotional security. Yoga and yogic practices can’t change the other person, but they can change your perception of yourself and help you to deal with the conflict in a healthy way.
Mantra – Chanting mantras in times of conflict or stress helps in multiple ways. The repetition of the words helps to steady the breath, which may become jagged or constricted. It calms the mind by giving it a mantra to anchor onto, rather than spinning out of control in the stressful situation. And most importantly, chanting a protective mantra brings the energy of the universe to your aid. Whether you believe that it is raising your personal vibration, or that it is calling on Divine protection, mantra is a powerful tool when you’re feeling attacked.
There are many protective mantras to choose from. You may choose to call on the Divine Feminine in the form of Kali or Durga, perhaps chanting a mantra like “Kali Durge Namoh Namah.” The mantra “Aad Guray Nameh” is often used to bring the protective energy of the universe to you. Yogi Bhajan said “When you cannot be protected, this mantra shall protect you. When things stop, and won’t move, this makes them move in your direction.” You can also try the Triple Mantra, or “Rakhe Rakhanahar.” If you feel you are under heavy attack, saying the Baba Siri Chand mantra can protect you. Ramdesh Kaur’s excellent article about this mantra is a must read for anyone who feels that they need to call on Baba Siri Chand.
Work with the chakras – When in situations of conflict, particularly if we are on the receiving end, it’s common to feel ourselves shrinking. Turning inwardly, trying to cover up our soft and vulnerable spots is a normal reaction to difficult situations. If we always do this, we are weakening our ability to stick up for ourselves in a healthy way. If speaking your truth, or speaking up for yourself are difficult for you, try working with your fifth chakra. Chanting and toning, practicing asanas like cobra, and vowing to speak the truth will activate your fifth chakra. If you are feeling dis-empowered by a person or circumstances in your life, work with your third chakra. Meditate on the sun, go out and spend some time in the sunshine, or try Breath of Fire to activate and strengthen your third chakra.
Karas and Malas – If you are practicing a specific mantra in difficult situations, using a complementary mala is a wonderful way to enhance the energy of the mantra. Different stones have different vibrations, and can be used to bring your being into alignment with the energy of protection and strength. For example, a carnelian mala can help to protect against anger and rage, and to dispel passivity. You can also try wearing a kara, awhich is thought to imbue the wearer with strength and purity. A kara engraved with a mantra, such as “Aad Guray Nameh” can be a reminder of the internal strength you possess.
Mudra – Another excellent complement to mantra practice is the use of mudras. Mudras are hand positions or postures that are used to help guide energy in the body. Holding a mudra with one or both hands while chanting a protective mantra can help to stimulate and enhance the protective energy of that mantra. There are many mudras that can be used, such as Shakti mudra and Ahamkara mudra. The book Mudra: Yoga in Your Hands is a great resource for learning more about mudras.
Yoga – One amazing aspect of yoga is the way that the physical postures unlock energy in our psyches. What we do in the physical world can have a profound effect on our metaphysical beings. If you feel like you need a boost in confidence, do some yoga! Archer pose and stretch pose can build your strength and confidence. Practicing a pose that used to be a great challenge, which you can now do with relative ease, can also be a boost to your self-confidence. Doing yoga to balance all of your chakras will energize you and enhance your ability to live with power and grace.