Breathe and Live In Ahimsa

‘Ahimsa’, one of the five Yamas in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, refers to the avoidance of violence towards others. Violence can take many forms. Just to name a few, violence can be physical or even verbal.
In my opinion, physical violence is easier to avoid compared to verbal abuse. Our country has strict laws that deter people from resorting to physical violence.

Most times, we are unaware that the things we say can cause unnecessary and permanent hurt to others. We say what we feel without thinking twice how our comments will affect others. For me, this usually happens when I am angry or simply annoyed. I am guilty of being straightforward with my statements that I neglect how others might react to it. Sometimes, in the moment of anger, when I make these nasty comments, it feels like I am entitled to make the hurtful remarks. Many times I regret the consequences and tell myself time and time again that I need to control my temper and learn to manage my anger especially to the people closest to me.

When we open the class with the ‘Om Shanti’ mantra, I am reminded that it means peace, peace for all living and non-living things. This is followed by the breathing techniques, the most basic of all is the deep inhalation and deep exhalation which helps calm the mind. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, this peace and calmness of the mind is further emphasized as he preaches the importance of ‘Ahimsa’ being an important ingredient in one’s physical conduct. It feels like Patanjali is conveying his teachings through my practice of asana. For example, when I hold in Virabhadrana 1, sometimes I experience pain in my quadricep. In order to take my senses away from this ache that I feel, I breathe and focus on inhaling and exhaling which is effective in taking the pain off my mind.

I have learnt to apply the breathing techniques into my daily life. Each time I feel anger within me, I inhale deeply and exhale even deeper, keeping in mind that I am inhaling all the positive energy and exhaling all the negative vibes within me in order to maintain ‘ahimsa’ in my actions and words.

 

Dawn

200hr Vinyasa Sept 2015 (weekend)