"#Ahimsa, rightly understood, is the ultimate weapon; it turns one’s enemy into a friend, thereby banishing the possibility of further conflict. In the practice of yoga, it is important to understand that the same life flows in the veins of all creatures.” – Swami Kriyananda
When we talk about the Sutras in Yoga, even the casual practitioner can take something from the teachings. Although written as a Hindu spiritual text, the philosophies have endured for a millennia.
The attitude of the mind has a significant impact on the whole person. If we carry anger, resentment, ill will (you get the picture) it will eat away at us like a disease. Why? Because it is a disease! What we carry within us will eventually come out. It will infect those around us and continue to spread. Guarding our minds is just as important as protecting our physical being.
How do we apply ahimsa to our Yoga practice? Here are a few ideas:
-Try not to set unattainable goals. Challenging yourself to grow and improve is one thing, injuring oneself is another.
-Listen to your body. If the body needs rest, honor that need.
-Don't hold yourself to someone else's standards. Just because one person evolves a posture to something more advanced does not mean you have to. You do not have less of a practice if you don't.
-Be present mentally for the practice.
-Allow for savasana. This link will take you to an article to talk about why savasana is often perceived as the hardest posture/asana.
How do we apply ahimsa to our daily life?
-Cultivate positivity, both inwardly and towards those around you. Our thoughts are powerful. View your thoughts as a garden. Negative thoughts are like weeds, they require nothing of you to grow, but if left to their own, will over take the beautiful fruits of your sacred mental garden.
-Make time to take time for yourself. Self-care practices such as massage, walks, even quality foods and mindful eating.
-Honor your sleep time, this is when the body restores itself. -Practice self-forgiveness, doing your best to avoid returning to the things of your past that have required self-forgiveness. -Give genuine compliments to both yourself and others. -Go on a criticism diet for a week, for a month, or heck, maybe for a lifetime! -Notice the things that create anger in you. Try to identify and avoid them, if it can't be avoided, do your best to learn how to deal with it. When it doesn't work out, remember self-forgiveness.
Stay well my friends.