Social Media,  Teaching Ashtanga,  Uncategorized,  Videos,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras



The video above talks about how Facebook makes money by triggering your negative emotions.  By placing posts on your page, that you are likely to engage with for a long time, they can make more money from ad placement. Because of the uncontrolled mind, the best way to do that is through negative posts.

They are not the only ones of course.  All news channels do it. Bloggers do it.

Our egos do it. Yes. Keeping you in a triggered state solidifies the ego.

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, yoga is defined as, “the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” Facebook does not want you to do that. The news does not want you to do that. Some bloggers don’t want you to do that. Your ego does not want you to do that.

There is a myth that, unless we are triggered, we are not in action. That we cannot change the world.  We become afraid that we will be complacent. That people will get away with “it”.  Anger is definitely one very effective way of doing that…if you can control it.  Often, we can’t.  It is usually more of an out of control forest fire in a super dry forest that just goes on and on and on……

That is why it can be so easily used by Facebook, the News, unsavory bloggers to get us moving in the direction they want us to go. It is an extremely predictable means of mind control.   However, the mind of someone who is in control, is unpredictable. Who knows where logic will take them. This is the yogi’s mind. The yogi’s mind is not tethered and unwillingly dragged from place to place by it’s triggers.  The yogi’s mind is free to look at all possibilities, not just the ones that benefit the circus masters. Often, we are given the illusion of choice.  The circus master says, “choose strawberry or banana flavor” then they give us a bunch of information that points to these being the only two choices. Blinding us from the infinite possibility of the universe.

Yoga is a laser that eventually destroys its point of focus; leaving us with formless full potential.  The yoga practice is not specific to bind you, it is specific so that your laser stays focused. If you move the laser from one point and then another point and then another point, the laser never gets to the bottom.

The stages of Samadhi, which is the last practice of the yogi, goes from focus on a gross object all the way from the ability to drop in to deep focus at will with no object needed.  If we cannot stay focused on something as tangible as a physical practice, our chances of reaching the last stage of yoga practice is slim.  If we can’t walk though our day without being triggered, our ability to stay connected to our full potential is impossible. If we hold on to our attachment to what triggers us, our decisions are never clear. We will always only see the strawberry and the banana flavor; our trigger and what we think is the answer to our trigger.  There is a whole world in between and outside of those two options.  The purpose of yoga is to help us see that.

Until then, we can at least use happy triggers. The Yoga Sutras talks about a process called “pratipaksha bhavanam” or cultivating the opposite.  How about filling your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, your life, your e-mail box, your voicemail up with things that trigger you to want to practice LOL!!!  That trigger you to meditate, to contemplate, to uplift and to positive action. This does not mean ignoring “bad” things that happen in the world. It means supporting people who give us the positive solution to go with the “bad” news.  People who are not using the “bad” news to send you spiraling but to give you options to change the world.

Here is the difference.

Article, video, post A. This is bad. That is bad.  I cannot believe this happened. The end.

Article, video, post B. This is bad. That is bad.  I cannot believe this happened. You need to do something. Lets talk about doing something. Most likely we won’t but I feel good abut myself for putting this out there. Lets all get together and talk about what we all know we won’t do anything about.

Article, video, post C. This is bad. That is bad.  I cannot believe this happened. If you want to do something about this,  come to my workshop. Listen to my podcast. Buy something advertised on my page. That will be $500. Nothing will change but boy will you have an amazing time thinking about it.

Article, video, post D. This is bad. That is bad.  I cannot believe this happened. If you want to do something about this, check out this organization that helps people in this situation.  Do this yoga practice outlined in the Yoga Sutras. Write a letter to these 3 senators by August 13. Here is the template. All you have to do is put a stamp on it, get on your mat, click this link.  You can also come to my workshop for $500 where I will absolutely teach you how to do all 3 of these things. It includes a stamp and an outline of the practice.

A through C leaves us unempowered and wallowing in our emotions. Options D is empowering and impactful.

Since I started doing this, my time on social media has been cut in half. I am serious. Positive posts and messages take up less of my time because I don’t get triggered and go down the rabbit hole of arguing back and forth in the comments.  After reading a post, listening to a podcast or watching a video, that gives me positive actions I can take, I am inspired to go out in the world and do good not stay online and argue. Like you can actually feel more inspired after checking your Instagram than actually hating your life. You can actually feel good about the world after checking your Facebook rather than thinking that it is imploding. It is all about choosing who you want to follow instead of being dragged around by who you feel triggered to follow.

Yes, negative stuff still gets shared to my feed by well meaning friends. I get caught up sometimes, however, I have noticed a pattern. Usually, it is the same people over and over again who write disempowering posts, podcasts and videos.  When I see that author, I keep scrolling.


Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail [email protected]