Bhava in Sanskrit means “feeling”, “emotion”, “mood”, “mental attitude” or “devotional state of mind.” The goal of yoga is to help us “to see” and make unconscious attitudes conscious. Yoga practice invites us to inquire and evaluate how certain attitudes work for us and how they align with the choices we make. For most of us, attitudes are our blind spot. When we discover our attitudes we also discover that they are the root cause of our emotions, actions, and thinking. The quality of our cognition depends in totality on the attitudes we adopt in life. 

To discover our attitudes we have to be aware of how we respond to different situations. Let’s say that two people face the same situation, one solves the situation with calm and pragmatism, while another is reactive and is deeply disturbed by the situation. It seems that he never can get away from the shadow of what happened. One could see the rose, and the other only the thorns of the rose. What is the difference between this two people?

The colossal difference is in their attitude. Only the attitude can make the difference between a painful and a pleasant experience. Our all life can change with a change in our attitude, but to change our attitude is not an easy thing to do and let’s see why? 

What is an attitude?

Attitudes are a set of ingrained rules about how to live life, passed down to us from generation to generation. Majority of people perceive reality through the eyes of someone else, their parents or society and they never question their attitude, taking it as an absolute truth. They assume that what is true for them is the same for their children. For the child, it is not easy to see what is truth and what is false as he can not think for himself at an early age, and it is easier just to grasp what is given by the parent us being real.

As a result, the child develops a sense of identification with the transmitted attitudes and becomes unconsciously dominated by them, this way creating automatic and unconscious responses. Our unconsciousness is grasping the taught attitudes to us by others, and later in life, these ingrained attitudes become our defense system, with the intention of keeping us safe from certain experiences in life.

Try to tell someone that has a certain attitude, what you’ll hear is: “Who? me? This is not true. I don’t have such an attitude. It is you that has an attitude.” Recognizing and seeing our own unconscious attitudes and how they affect our actions, thoughts, and emotions is one of the hardest things to do in life. We can’t change our emotional and mental state unless we start to notice what is lying underneath at a deeper level of our mental constructs. Only then we can change the way we perceive our body and understand it.

The goal of yoga is to help us “to see” and make unconscious attitudes conscious. To inquire and evaluate how a certain attitude works for us and how it aligns with reality and choices we make.

It is very much necessary to keep an eye on our attitudes as they become our belief system. When these beliefs are more and more practiced they will grow into our values. If our values are pie-in-the-sky built on false ideas and unconscious attitudes all will happen to us is deviate from reality and succumb to suffering.

“Where goes the hand, there goes the eye.

Where goes the eye, there goes the mind.

From my mind, I create attitude (Bhava).

When I create attitude (Bhava),

Emotions (Rasa) are created,

The essence of human feelings.”

Stay Brave,

Maria Mitea,

HealthYoga Therapist, teacher, and student,