You probably know someone who often and for no apparent reason, verbally attacks people around. The reflection today is about these people. I will call them acidic. I will write here not about the people who insult others, but those who tend to choose a way to talk more aggressively, less gentle and less enjoyable.
Patanjali, in Yoga Sutra, describes eight steps for acquisition of fullness (Samadhi). The first step is YAMA, composed of five lines of conduct that would facilitate the yogi life. The first of these five is AHIMSA, which literally means non-violence. The first yogi lesson, therefore, is to avoid doing violence to the others. The second conduct is SATYA, truthfulness. The yogi must be truthful and sincere.
Acid people, sometimes, justify their behavior, saying they are not aggressive; they are only “direct” and “sincere.” Then a problem appears: Is it possible to be sincere and kind at the same time?
Yes, of course! It is not necessarily required to be acid in order to be sincere. There is always a gentle way of expressing ourselves. This requires:
1 – The resolute interest in being kind to others, and
2 – Nothing less than training.
What are the advantages of practicing gentleness?
Being gentle, besides being the cultivation of healthy emotions, also contributes to a pleasant social environment. A harmonious social environment is synonymous of peace.
How to train gentleness?
Well, there are two fundamental questions to neutralize acidity in ourselves:
1 – Curing psychological traumas, and
2 – Developing power of concentration and attention.
How to cure traumas?
It is a great question. There are many hypotheses for people to turn into acidic person, like: lack of love, lack of affection, lack of attention, lack of self-understanding, nutritional deficiency and many other factors. In all cases, the individuals has to identify what is hurting them and find ways to transcend the hurt in question, with or without help. The practice of yoga can help the individuals to broaden perspectives about themselves and therefore can help in identifying what is hurting them.
How to develop concentration?
The “meditative” state we entered practicing the yoga techniques, increases the power of concentration. With an attentive mind, we can identify the moment that we would be acidic and instead of acting impulsively, we can better choose our actions and words.
In other words, I would say that the CORRECT yoga practice should gradually make the individual gentler. If a yoga practitioner finds himself an acidic person, even practicing regularly, it is clear that he is not practicing properly. In this case, there must be a misunderstanding about the yoga concepts.
How to deal with acidic people?
Finally, it remains to reflect on how we deal with acidic people. We have basically two choices:
1 – Be patient and understanding. Instead of let ourselves be hurt by acidic people, we must realize that they are suffering and because of that they have the habit of speaking in a less delicate way. They need our friendship, need our help. Reply with aggression will not help them in their healing process.
2 – Move away. If we become aware that we have no emotional resources to be comprehensive, it is better to avoid contact until we realize that acidic people, in the deep, does not intend to hurt anyone. It is not easy to be an acidic person. The aggressiveness is bad for skin and for the overall health.
We express what we are. If we are happy, we will express happiness, if we are suffering, we will express pain.
I was born in São Paulo, Brazil and I teach since 2001. I studied in India with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
Living in Europe these last 10 years, I teach regularly in Croatia, France, Portugal and in Denmark, where I am currently living.
Besides Yoga, I am Bachelor in International Relations with specialization in Political Science at Sciences Po – Bordeaux.
I think my diverse education helps me to see yoga as lifestyle that can balance the individual and result in a healthy society.