In Ashtanga Yoga, we learn that yoga is not only a physical practice but also a way of living in a more conscious manner. In order to unify the body, mind and soul, it is then important to try and work towards a balanced consciousness. To do so, we need to focus on the foundation of yoga that are the “8 limbs of Yoga” (Ashta = eight, Anga = Limb and Yoga = Union):
– Yama (ethical disciplines),
– Niyama (self observation),
– Asana (postures),
– Pranayama (breath control),
– Pratyahara (sense withdrawal),
– Dharana (concentration),
– Dhyana (meditation),
– Samadhi (a state of joyful peace).
2015 starts sadly here in Paris… Last week’s events remind us that violence happens everywhere and every single day in the world… and that it is everybody’s duty to prevent such horrible events to happen. How to? We could start living a kinder life and preventing each one of us from falling into a fearful mindset. Our thoughts and behaviors should be free from hate or anger.
One of the first ethical disciplines (yamas) a yogi should follow is “AHIMSA” (or the principle non-violence and non-harming in thought, word or deed).
So, here is the question: How to bring more non-violence values into our life? Like everything else, we could start small and on our own level …. but always with awareness. So little pumpkins, let’s mindfully practise #ahimsa:
– on our mats: Being kinder to our bodies during the practice. Avoiding to push ourself too hard when we feel tension or pain for instance.
– with our loved ones: Being genuine and thankful for every single moment we can spend with them.
– with strangers on the street or at the grocery store: Yes! Everybody deserves your smile, your “hi!”, “please” and genuine “thank you”. While being kind to people, you are also bringing light and happiness into their day. So don’t be shy and do it!
– in our words towards ourselves and others: Why calling this person “worthless” or “stupid”? Why? (okok sometimes it can feel good to express our anger… but well… let’s try to do that less… shall we?)
– and even with the surrounding nature: What about recycling those paper? Using less water bottles? Eating less processed food? Or even even less meat? Consuming more sustainable products? Etc. Possibilities are endless!
Like everything else, it won’t be easy. We struggle sometimes with staying calm and not being angry or mean. (yes! because… let’s be honest… we are just human beings! We are not Mother Theresa… Sometimes it feels “good” to be bad!! But… let’s try to be at least a little be more “good” than bad… shall we?)
But like everything else it’s always our own choice to persevere despite our mistakes, impatience and fears. I guess we can always experience our feelings fully, acknowledge them and then try to “analyze” them to find peace later.
Actually, we just have to bring more awareness to our behavior and attitudes towards others and ourself to take Ahimsa into more areas of our life…
We should always keep up and never give up bringing more tolereance and genuine love into our lives.