Enjoy our faster App experience

5 yogic principles to overcome your 'inner demons'

How to win over the grey areas of your personality

By Anjaan

Published: Thu 28 Oct 2021, 3:45 PM

As the city goes into a Halloween frenzy, this would be a good time to look within and find real-world techniques to fight your inner demons. “Inner demons” is a term used commonly for dealing with the bottled-up, repressed or unconscious aspects of your emotions. These can be your doubts, insecurities, fears or negative beliefs. To attain your full potential, you must end them.

Internal demons fill you with worry and fear, especially if you are vulnerable, restricting your growth and reducing vitality. The quality of your life is decided by how well you know your demons and how well you can defend against them. Here are some practical examples to self-regulate and win these internal battles.

List them!

The first step is to have radicle honesty with yourself and make an inventory of your inner demons. Search for clues from your past. These could include fears, doubts and insecurities. If your demon is shame, ask yourself — “How is this thought helping me? Why do I allow myself to feel this way? Is this really my thought or someone else’s opinion of me?” You may discover that your thought patterns aren’t yours at all. If you feel jealousy then look for situations when you feel envious or jealous. Ask yourself why you feel this way and recognise that comparison is futile. For addictions and obsessive behaviours, be radically true to yourself and honestly contemplate on them to get over them and see results.

Listing your demons is a powerful key. Through cognizance and understanding, you become aware of your unconscious actions and stop being a victim to programmed patterns.

Virya — Have strength

Being honest to yourself takes strength. It’s easy to deny your inner demons and settle for the “trauma trend”. Most people take the easy road and continue to repress their emotions until it’s too late. Don’t be that person. This is called Virya in Yoga. The search for your inner peace can be emotional as it could dig up memories and patterns. Build your inner resilience to be able to transform your demons into applied actions. Your demons will transform when you make peace with them.

Svadhyaya — Mentor the inner critic

Most problems spring from your own thoughts. Your dislike towards things and people creates unhappiness, disturbance, and chaos in your work, relationships and in other areas. Take an honest look at your inner critic. This is called Svadhyaya in Yoga. Spend time in self-study and understand what you judge and criticise. What is it about that person you dislike? Just be aware of these things without trying to judge them. Eventually you can start to forgive them.

Inner demons feast on things you dislike or hate. So, when you work on those emotions, there is no reason for the demons to be active, right?

Vinyasa — Move!

Physical exercise is a great way to get rid of the inner demons and when you workout, you release endorphins (also called “happy hormones”), which rid you of negativity by forming new thought patterns. An active Asana (postural) Yoga practice can also get you into a more meditative state. Many Yoga Vinyasa (sequences) are designed to help you release tensions in your body. Make it a habit to move your body every day — even if it’s just a brisk walk.

Anupreksha — Write!

A journal can be a life saver for you if you struggle with your inner demons. Introspect and ask yourself potent questions and you will be surprised at how many answers intuitively come up. If something from your past is the cause of your unhappiness, attend to it by making peace with it. Writing helps to get over the need to bring the past into the future. The Yogic word Anupreksha means roughly to contemplate. Look within and find what your belief or emotion wants you to understand. I write from experience, having undertaken the process for many years now, I am now acutely aware of my emotions.

Daya — Be gentle

Be kind to yourself during this process. Don’t pass judgement or criticism on yourself, instead merely observe through awareness. In doing so, you liberate yourself from that past and create an abundant future. This is called Daya or compassion in Yoga. Your thoughts can be the real demons because they can cause suffering, chaos, separation and conflict. Be gentle with your thoughts.

This Halloween, spend time in self-examination and have the inclination to address repressed emotions or beliefs. Without the desire to clean out the clutter, you will remain a victim to the emotion. It haunts you until it grows larger in magnitude.

Your potential becomes evident when your demons no longer have power over you. We all have this source of energy within us. By going into regular stillness through meditation or being in nature, you get acquainted with it. You discover yourself as a boundless being with infinite potential. Eventually others will see your light.


Connect with Anjaan across social media @MeditateWithAnjaan

More news from Wellness