What is Yogic Counseling?

Most counseling modalities are focused on creating change and success in our outer conditions, to bring about inner changes. Yogic counseling aims to bring about inner transformation, to create change in our outer world. Like Yoga, the ultimate goal of Yogic counseling is to help the client to adapt a “posture of consciousness” rather than ego, fear, competition, and judgment to perceive the true immortal self that dwells within.

In the west the term Yoga is often used in its narrowest definition as Asana practice. At best most Yoga psychological therapists employ Asanas, pranayama, meditation and sometimes western or new age models of the mind and psychology. The broader system of classical Yoga, which contains vast knowledge of human psychology and mental/spiritual health, is widely overlooked. Yoga science understands that human beings face a myriad of difficult and painful realities in their everyday life and Yoga scriptures such the Yoga Sutras and Bhagavat Gita offer step by step methodology for freeing us from the sorrows of the world.

The primary diagnostic tool used in Yogic Counseling is Jyotish, the Vedic Science of Astrology that illuminates our past, present, and potential future. The fundamental principle of Yoga psychology is the evolution of the soul and its connection to its past lives, which are reflected in present life karmas, revealed through a horoscope casted for the moment of birth. The Vedic horoscope shows our predispositions (samsaras), which are often so strongly entrenched within us that as a result of our conscious or unconscious actions certain perceptions, desires, motivations, actions, feelings, personalities, life patterns and events become fated to occur. The cycle of birth, death and rebirth and the experience of these karmas is the path the soul takes on its journey towards the realization of its cosmic roots.

Indeed, Yogic Counseling is perhaps the most holistic science for mental and spiritual counseling, as it is a complete science for the development of human consciousness, which sees the individual psyche to be more than a product of our circumstances in this life.

Yogic counseling uses “techniques and postures” prescribed in the Hindu/Yoga scriptures that we need to practice “off the mat” to find solutions to our life problems and to bring stillness to our minds. The greater system of Yoga makes available many types of Yoga of which Asana practice is just one. Yogic counseling uses the other forms of yoga, primarily Yoga of Knowledge (Gyana Yoga); Yoga of Action (Karma Yoga); and Devotional Yoga (Bhakti Yoga) as its principle remedial tools. The main precepts of Yoga philosophy and methodology; such as the principles of Causation and Life Purpose (Karma/Dharma); Principles of spiritual development and skillful living (Yama and Niyama); and an understanding of the sacred syllable Om are just some of the foundational principles that the counselor uses to guide the client.

Like Yoga and meditation, the ultimate goal of yogic counseling is to still the mind and become a witness to the events of our life. The result is increased joy, compassion and fulfillment in our daily life and a natural enfoldment of divine union – Yoga.