Happy Healthy and Fit

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ahimsa! The True Spirit of Yoga!

I love yoga because it makes me feel so good. I love teaching yoga, because it makes other people feel so good. If I feel good and someone else feels good, together we have just elevated our consciousness and thereby contributed to a more peaceful planet.

This idea comes from what yogis refer to as ahimsa or non-violence. It is easy to translate it as non-killing, but it is not non-killing. Himsa means pain and the 'a' negates it. Therefore, it is not to cause pain. Ahimsa is the first of the 5 yamas or things to abstain from to have a happy, healthy and peaceful life. Remember, a true yogi is not someone who can twist like a pretzel, but someone who exudes and exists in inner and outer peace.

Even before Truth, comes Non-Violence. It is the first conscious thought. By nature, violence is unconscious. When you take a vow of ahimsa, you will see that all enmity ceases to exist in your presence. You will actually emit harmonious vibrations. Even two people experiencing enmity will temporarily forget it in the presence of ahimsa.

Animals are also able to tap into these vibrations. You may notice a dog at peace with one and on guard with another. Violence is a vibration. It is known that even in the wild, animals forget their violent nature in the presence of one practicing ahimsa. In mythology, it is quite common to see people walking with tigers. They are not fighting the tigers, they are in conscious alignment thereby taming the ferocious.

Ahimsa or non-violence can easily be viewed outside of yourself, but the true practice is done by looking inward. Are you non-violent in your thoughts and actions toward yourself? The foods you eat and the habits you engage in can be simple and continuous acts of violence on your body. If you are ingesting chemicals, you are abusing your body, a simple act of violence. If you are in a toxic relationship or job, you are creating stress, which takes the body out of its rhythm and high vibrations. Stress is violence. Self-depracting thoughts inflict pain. Forcing yoga poses is an act of causing pain and violence to your body.

Peace, harmony and friendliness in thought word and deed is the path to ahimsa. Notice when you feel this in the presence of another and observe. This simple practice is enough to change yourself and change the world. Approach every difficult situation in your life as a ferocious tiger that is in the presence of ahimsa. You may not be able to eliminate it, but you can tame it peacefully.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means loving and accepting yourself and others exactly as you and they are. Trust that everyone is experiencing enough of their own pain and that by practicing ahimsa you can create an environment of non-pain and non-violence simply by being in harmony. Just as you must keep practicing arm balances to improve, you must keep practicing ahimsa to become it. Use you yoga to strengthen your body and your mind. Ahimsa!

May you be free of all pain and painful thoughts!

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