I didn’t come across this term, Ahimsa till it was explained and shared during the first weekend class of the 200Hr YTT course. Indeed, in a dynamic environment where self-interest is often emphasized/pursued, it is hard to imagine how we can apply/practice Ahimsa.
So, what is Ahimsa? Broadly, it means respect for all living things and avoidance of violence towards others. Is it reasonable to ask of ourselves to practice Ahimsa? The notion of elimination of violence is beyond physical violence and also include (but not limited to) verbal violence (abuse) and behavioral violence (e.g. politicking).
In the following weekend, a baby roach came to my yoga mat while the class (there were ~20 of us in the packed practice room) was still practicing the sun-salutation sequence. I am terrified of roaches to say the least. Instead of sweeping it away from my yoga mat, a reasonable reflex action in light of my innate fear, I was impressed by how calm I was to inform Paalu of the roach. The startled neighboring practitioners looked to me worriedly (remember my possible reflex action 🙂 ). Calmly, I used a tissue to bin the roach. I would not call it bravery, however I recalled – Ahimsa about showing respect for my newly found friends in the yoga class and more importantly, not to do things unto others what I would not on myself.
I begun to realize that Yoga is not limited to the alignments and stunning poses, but more importantly, I hope to walk away from this course with a cleansed heart and mind as a better person (e.g. newly learnt Eight Limbs of Ashtanga/Raja Yoga). I think this is the beginning of something meaningful and it would be a bonus if I can get the poses executed, else it would continue as a learning journey about the Asanas and the Anatomy. It had been an enriching journey and I look forward to new information/continued learning.
March 2018 200 HR Weekend YTT