Ways to Practice Ahimsa (Non – Violence) on & off the Yoga Mat
A simple way to think of this can be summed up simply in a quote from Bryan Kest, the founder of Power Yoga in LA: “The harder you are on anything the faster you will wear it out”
This can apply to yourself, each other, your marriage, your car, your mind!
Cultivating skilful means can be achieved by using mindfulness to catch harmful thoughts as they arise, such as a judgement, and refrain from acting on these thoughts.
One of my personal mantras on and off the yoga mat is:
“Do not let your mind bully your body”
Non-harming also implies not hurting others mentally or verbally; it includes avoiding all violent means – including physical violence – anything that injures others, their families, pets, community, or business.
The hypocratic oath (first do no harm) also echoes this principle in the medical field.
Martin Luther King said, “Not only should you refuse to kill a man, but refuse to hate him.”
Holding grudges and resentment toward others actually does harm to ourselves. These thoughts can trigger a fight, flight, freeze (Red Zone) type response.
Our previous Blog describes what happens inside of us when we are in Red Zone (see link below):
There are plenty of opportunities to practice Non Violence in thought, words and deeds. Keep in mind, the Yamas and Niyamas in Yoga are not to be used as a stick to beat yourself with whenever you are imperfect, or to pass judgement on others. They exist as guideposts for you to calm the reactivity of the mind and to move from a state of dis-ease to a state of ease.
These fancy yoga poses may have thousands of alignment cues, however, consider aligning yourselves with the first Limb of Yoga the Yamas. Coming back to the key foundations in alignment suggested by the Yoga Sutras allows your mind to find a place of steadiness and ease. The way in which you think has a ripple effect, therefore, do not let your mind bully your body and enjoy your practice of Yoga on and off the mat.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE YAMAS + NIYAMAS CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR OUR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING COURSES (For both Personal Development and Certification to Teach)
CLICK HERE for tickets to Bryan Kest (the founder of Power Yoga LA) to learn more about the practical ways to practice the Yoga Sutras on and off the Yoga Mat – TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Our Blog on the Red Zone – CLICK HERE