Every new year marks the start of a new cycle for me. I have chosen to start 2018 by searching for inspiration in the foundations of the yoga philosohpy: the yoga sutras. During my next posts and on the countdown towards our gathering in the amazing Barcelona Yoga Conference, I invite you to read and reflect with me on how these concepts can be applied to our yoga practice and to our daily lives…
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali divided yoga into eight essential “limbs,” or steps. The first two limbs are the yamas and niyamas, behavioral observances & qualities necessary to lead a coherent & mindful life. There is much inspiration to be explored & cultivated in these teachings … far beyond the physical aspects.
The very first yama is ahimsa or non violence: not only physical violence, but also to the violence of words or thoughts. Practicing ahimsa means we take responsibility for our own harmful behavior and attempt to stop the harm caused by others. Practicing true ahimsa sets the clear intention to act with clarity & love.
To bring ahimsa to our yoga practice ~ observe your inner dialogue as you practice asana & meditation, are your thoughts harmful or uplifting? Make the decision to intentionally respect & honor the limitations your own body has. Perform yoga poses gracefully as best as you can, but do it without forcing, yes you can challenge yourself (you must) & overcome mental & physical boundaries but without force.
In our daily lives ~ in your diet (causing the least cruelty you can with your food choices) & in how you behave & communicate with yourself & the people around you.
Can you think of other ways to apply ahimsa to your your practice or your life? Please share in comments or with those around you!
More on the yamas & the yoga sutras in my following posts… happy exploring!
love & clarity,