Bija Bennett

Purity is the act of being honest and kind to yourself every single day.

When I think of purity I think of pure, crystal-clear water, or pure, clean mountain air. But what does practicing purity look like?

Purity as an emotional practice is the act of clarifying your emotional perceptions and projections and eliminating ambiguity. Emotional clarity and purity are very much the same. 

Clarifying your emotions and reviewing your daily habits on a regular basis brings purity. When you start with one activity and shape it into a habit, it's the beginning of your Emotional Yoga practice. Practice maintains purity, realigns your values, points out the need for adjustments, and refreshes your emotional reservoir. This is Spring Cleaning at its best.

For example, take a look at the personal habits you are currently choosing. Each one directly influences the state of your emotions on a daily basis. Find out if any of them is a choice that no longer nurtures or serves you well.

Make a self-inquiry. Does your body feel strong and healthy? Are you getting enough rest? Are you overeating, or drinking or smoking too much? Do you have a habit of hanging out in front of the TV and watching what you don't like? What do you take in through your senses? How do the things you watch, listen to, smell, taste, and touch affect your feelings and thoughts? How do you react to these things? Is it an enjoyable reaction?

Who are your friends? Are they pleasant and supportive, or are they negative and critical?

To develop emotional purity, acquire the habit of checking in with yourself several times a day to see what you like and what feels good. Ask yourself: "What am I feeling about this?" and then listen to your response. Try experimenting with yourself in the following ways:

See the full article here.


Emotional Yoga


Breathing into Life


The Breathing Breakthrough

(Simon & Schuster, 2002)


(Balboa Press, 2015)


(Balboa Press, 2016)

Take responsibility in shaping who you are and what you feel. more


Breathing connects your awareness to every emotion you have. more


Everything you need to know to sharpen your focus, worry less, and live longer. more

Deepening Contentment

Contentment is our natural state of emotional balance. It is the very purpose of our lives, and the purpose of yoga too, to seek or link with this balance. Contentment is a choice you can make. If you give yourself permission to be content, you are well on your way.

Use your emotional antenna to sense what makes you comfortable or uncomfortable, happy or unhappy. At any time of the day, ask yourself some simple questions: Am I feeling comfortable or uncomfortable? Am I feeling happy or unhappy? What is making me feel unhappy? How am I allowing myself to feel unhappy? What am I allowing that isn't making me feel happy? Then, ask yourself, What steps can I take?

You don't have to stay unhappy or miserable, ever. Move toward your own state of contentment. Don't wait for someone to give happiness to you. As a friend of mine once said, "Only you can bring happiness to yourself. Everyone else is probably busy anyway."

Trying to be happy all the time is not the answer. You can't be emotionally perfect. Emotional perfectionism is the biggest obstacle between you and your ability to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Worrying about being perfect only makes you emotionally limited. It doesn't make you happy.

It's okay to get messy. You get messy when you deal with your emotions, anyway. So why not learn to play in the mess?

You need to be emotionally messy — confused, distracted, anxious, depressed, melancholy, sad — in order to find out who you are, why you are here, and what you're supposed to do.

If you accept your untidy, imperfect emotions, you'll find they have tremendous value.

Here's a meditation for increasing positive emotions. Do this exercise anytime, anywhere and you'll feel lighter, happier.

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Bija Bennett is a Chicago-based author, teacher, and speaker who has turned from the performing arts to the healing arts, and then back again to make unique and inspiring books, talks, music, and films, that impact the way we work and live.