Posted by: Leili Learning Life
Under: yoga teacher training
The yamas (restraints) and niyamas (observances) are the first two limbs of Yoga’s eightfold path. This section of yoga teacher training explores ahimsa, one of the five yamas.
Ahimsa basically translates to nonviolence. Harmlessness. Not injuring. Not causing pain to any being in thought, word, or action. Not harming the self. It is thought that if one can master the practice of ahimsa, one need not learn any other practice of yoga, for all the other practices live through ahimsa.
Ahimsa is non-harming.
I am exploring this practice by noticing instances of non-harming and of harming. Where is violence in my life? My violence is…
- negative self-talk
- judging others
- cursing others
- cursing myself
- talking about others
- eating badly
- not believing in myself
- yelling (verbally or internally) at other drivers
- trying to control situations
- not listening
- me vs. you
- real me vs. the me that I somehow think I should be
So many moments of harm! Whether this harm reaches others or not, it means that I am constantly chipping away at myself. And as we commit these small violences onto ourselves, as we break ourselves down, aren’t we making the world a sadder place to live in?
There is a real responsibility to be “constantly vigilant,” as Judith Lasater said, “to observe ourselves in interaction with others and to notice our thoughts and intentions.” This is the practice of ahimsa.