Yoga Psychology | The Heart of Faith
Doubt, sans questioning is a self-destroying mechanism and eats away at the emotional Heart like a cancer. Cardiologists around the world agree that stress, or forms of stress are the single most common supporting factor for the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.
During the mental process of doubting the breathing process becomes shallow and the lung capacity is reduced as one indulges excessively in self-destructive doubting. A lowered lung capacity would mean lowered blood oxygenation at first and over time this would lead to stenosis in the systemic organs as well as the CNS-Brain system. In turn, such stenosis would lead to increased cell apoptosis resulting ultimately in organ failure and/ or cognitive impairment,etc.
Doubt and her psychosomatic minions are then, in Yogic Psychology terms, one of those 8 components of stress that affect the physical heart. Arising out of the Water element based in the Swadisthana [Eng: foundational self], the second of the psychosomatic ‘chakras’ of the energy or Prana body the emotion of Doubt is a more sophisticated transformation of the primal emotion of Fear that originates in the Mooladhara chakra, the very first of the chakras.
As in the case of hormones, a hyperactive or hypoactive Water element can lead to similar symptoms. In order to address heightened feelings of doubt, one must develop strength, fortitude, higher self-esteem and a placid mindset.
In order to do this, it is suggested that one engages in Asanas, lifestyle choices and perspectives that would engender the growth of factors that would then address the issue of a doubting mind.
The Asanas that must be performed towards the generation of the above-mentioned qualities are those of the Earth, Fire and Space elements. Some of the relevant asanas from these elements are given at the end of the article. As concerns lifestyle choices, those suffering from a doubting mind should undertake with friends activities like camping in the outdoors, trekking and group sports, in order to encourage the feelings of trust and camaraderie. Lastly, in terms of perspective, one should understand that doubt springs from fear and the encouragement of doubt is akin to the fanning of fear within. Under no conditions is this heightened fear or doubt going to stand us in good stead and therefore it is in our own self interest to move towards lack of fear and lack of doubt. Doubt being overcome only through the proper questioning and arriving at rational answers or through its own auto-destruction, we have two choices as concerns doubt. Either to proceed with proper questioning and arriving at a conclusive, doubt-eradicating answer or to discard doubt completely as questioning might not always be advisable or even possible in many instances, such as when a partner suspects the others fidelity or when a junior officer has been given a command he knows to be not proper, from a commanding officer in the forces.
In such cases a decision is to be immediately made one way or the other, without the benefit of questioning, and followed upon. Instead of spending their time debasing themselves and their partners through worries over suspected infidelities, one should either leave the relationship forthwith or exterminate feelings of doubt and carry on with the relationship in a healthy manner. The junior officer should either quit or do as he is told, in the second instance, without presuming to question his superior.
Asanas will correct the hormonal imbalances, lifestyle choices would lead to a change in personality and changed perspectives would lead to different thought structures. All these three changes together would lead to a new body, personality and mind meant to specifically address the symptom of heightened doubt.