Yamas & Niyamas – Ahimsa…
As life starts to take more turns with the easing of lockdown, many do not wish to lead fast-paced lives like perhaps they were before lockdown. With many looking to continue to work from home and have more free-time, more and more people are being drawn to Yoga and Meditation.
This is due to people wanting to have more space in their lives for themselves and their loved ones. Slowing down and taking time to pause and be reflective is a form of self-care. Perhaps, focusing on finding meaning and being kinder to themselves.
Basically, people want to practice Ahimsa more.
Ahimsa – What does it mean?
Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word which translates to ‘no harm’ or ‘no violence’ in English.
It can be found in the 1st limb of Ashtanga Yoga and is one of the five Yamas. (Yamas are ethical standards and a code of conduct in the Yoga Sutras).
Implementing Ahimsa into life (on and off the mat)…
Ahimsa is one of the most important aspects of Yoga. Being able to do Asana is a very valuable thing and we learn a lot from it. However, if we don’t practice Ahimsa, or grow from our practice and incorporate Ahimsa and the other Yamas into our lives, Yoga might as well be a gym class to us.
Ahimsa means no harm. This means to any living beings, including yourself In both action and thought.
Peace begins with no violence and no harm. To be truly at peace, you have to be at peace with yourself and others, internally as well as externally.
When we are mean, nasty or violent towards others, it is normally an outward projection of what we are feeling inside (often referred to as the mirror theory). If we want to see change in the world, we have to start with ourselves. Once we are at peace with ourselves, we can start to drive positive change in the world.
When people treat us a certain way, or things aren’t going the way we planned in this world, when we are hard on ourselves… feelings of shame, guilt and disappointment manifest. Sometimes, we can all be guilty of expecting too much of ourselves, the people around us or the world in general. When things don’t go our way, for whatever reason, harmful feelings can start to creep in, which causes us harm and has the potential to cause others harm.
If we start to practice Ahimsa, we start practicing unconditional love and compassion. The more we practice yoga, the more we start to feel this within ourselves as we become at one and united with the world around us.
Yoga & Meditation
Yoga and meditation makes us look at ourselves and our lives internally so that we can work on turning negative aspects of ourselves into positives, without acting on this externally, an aspect of practicing ahimsa.
Practicing Metta (Buddhist Loving Kindness) Meditations ( Burgs (Love VS Virus) on Youtube) is a wonderful place to start incorporating Ahimsa into our lives. Also, practicing yoga gracefully, without forcing things as well as incorporating the other Yamas into our lives, can really allow us to open up and practice Ahimsa both on and off the mat.
At AMALAwellness classes, whether it is Yoga, Meditation or Move it or Lose it! Classes, we always incorporate a sense of gentleness to practice.
Do you practice gently, do you practice Ahimsa? I’d love to hear from you!
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About The author:
Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK. Aimee teaches in Norton, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Guisborough and Redcar and Cleveland, as well as offering online classes.
To find out more, visit www.amalateesside.com