What is Ahimsa?
The practice of yoga is broken down to eight parts, or “limbs.” The physical aspect of the practice that we know so well refers to the third limb that embodies yoga postures. Preceding this limb are the Yamas and Niyamas, or personal obligations that help us live better lives. Within the Yamas lies Ahimsa, which is loosely translated as doing no harm. We recently created a series of yoga videos with this concept in mind to teach simple and effective ways to practice this Yama on a daily basis.
How We Practice Being Less Violent
The most obvious way to practice ahimsa is to abstain from physically harming others, but the concept also extends to non-violence in the form of words and thoughts. Speaking and thinking badly of others not only hurts the target person but is also a detriment to our own inner peace. Ahimsa means practicing compassion towards ourselves and others. It means that we take the time to observe the types of thoughts we feed so we can curb critical and self-sabotaging ideas. Ahimsa is also about creating balance in our lives. Most of us have heard that too much of anything is no good and hence when our lives are out of balance, we don’t feel well. When we ignore our need for self-care it isn’t much different than being violent towards ourselves.
How Our Yoga Videos Can Help Instill Better Habits
The asana part of the practice offers a great platform to explore the deeper concepts of yoga, and Ahimsa can come up in many ways. For instance, when are impatient with our progress or when we find ourselves jamming our bodies into certain positions, we find a great opportunity to pause and remind ourselves that we don’t need to be so harsh and forceful. Instead, we can back off, re-evaluate our intentions and move forward with more ease. There is a mantra that embodies the Yama at hand, and it states, “May all being be happy and free and may my actions and thoughts contribute to that happiness and freedom.” In Sanskrit it’s Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavaintu, and we can repeat this the next time we are being judgmental, jealous, hateful and insecure. Doing the yoga videos below is also a great to practice more kindness and love towards everyone, especially ourselves.
We’ve Created Four New Online Yoga Videos Inspired by Ahimsa For You
Our newest videos are inspired by staying aware and present in our yoga practice without judgement. The beginner flow is 40 minutes of self-care focused on releasing tension in the hamstrings and lower back. This month’s slow flow class is filled with heart openers to help put us in a more open and less judgmental state of mind. Try our newest Buddhi Flow class to challenge your balance and stability. Become more grounded in both the body and mind. The latest Super Yogi will help you test your limits with deep bind variations and arm balances. Challenge your ability to honor where you are in your body and to not push too far just to achieve a certain pose. Explore these deeper postures with awareness, one breath at a time.