Afterthoughts of Ahimsa

The general gist of Ahimsa is to be firmly grounded with non-violence in us and transform all hostilities to love for all. As the modern saying goes, “You need to love yourself before you can love others.” Being compassionate towards ourselves is the key before we can project this love and compassion unto the people or things around us.

Ahimsa is important during yoga practice because when violence takes over, we start to lose awareness and drive our bodies over the brim of injury. It is necessary to remind ourselves to listen to our body while having faith in the progress rather than result (i.e. the full asana). To put it in illustration, yes, we want to be able to feel the progress in our practice, but sometimes we have to accept the maybes in our practice, in other words “Maybe not today, maybe tomorrow”. Listen to our body because we only have this one body out of seven billion others, how unique and beautiful we are, so why would we want to torture or strain it past its limits?

Sharing from a personal experience, ahimsa in my yoga practice has become the foundation of a greater emotional stability since January this year. Many times in life, the journey of non-violence is prevalent without us knowing. It begins when we are able to embrace the courage of letting go of things that no longer serve us. It can be an object, a habit, or even people. These things can be (or used to be) a major part of your life; things that you thought you cannot live without, will never abandon you. Just like how we practice ahimsa in our yoga practice, can we be compassionate and kind enough for ourselves to pull back and let go of the things that no longer serve our greater purpose? Can we accept that letting go and surrendering is not a form of weakness, but wisdom from past experiences to allow for greater things to come?

If we have to start practicing ahimsa somewhere, start from nurturing this non-violence thought in our mind and be a believer that what our mind conceives, it can achieve. Start to be kind to yourself, let love take over, and soon all these will shine through your feelings, actions, thoughts and speech unto everything in your surroundings.

Embrace ahimsa in our yoga practice and daily life is to understand that in this moment, be compassionate to yourself, let go of things that no longer serve you; because just like an arrow, sometimes it’s okay to stop and pull back before we can fly further. Namaste xx

Kin

June’15  YTT