Pratipaksha Bhavana

Definition - What does Pratipaksha Bhavana mean?

Pratipaksha bhavana is a yogic practice outlined in the Yoga Sutras in which yogis discontinue negative ways of thinking through the discipline of “cultivating the opposite.” From Sanskrit, pratipaksha means “opposite” and bhavana means “cultivation.”

According to the Sutras, negative thoughts are described as anything against the yamas or niyamas. Yogis can practice pratipaksha bhavana in order to actively change intrusive or destructive thoughts.

Yogapedia explains Pratipaksha Bhavana

The concept of pratipaksha bhavana attests that if one's thoughts are negative, violent and/or unkind, he/she can immediately begin to create thoughts of positivity, non-violence and kindness. This practice can be incorporated into meditation or yoga asana when intrusive, negative thoughts attempt to distract.

Pratipaksha bhavana is a practical exercise that anyone can implement in order to retrain the mind to think more positively, and reduce suffering and untrue thoughts. This practice can be highly beneficial when applied to normal, every day occurrences.

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