Unfolding on the Mat
Expanded Content and Thoughtful Guidance
Here we go! It's YAMA time!
These are the first five ethical disciplines of your yoga practice. Fun word, bummer topic ;)
Actually, I really enjoy studying these teachings and thinking about them as I engage in society.
The first Yama is Ahimsa, or non-violence. Upon first glance, one might say, "Yep! Got it! Don't be violent. I shall not kill. Check!" But you know it's more than that, right?
In this week's podcast episode, we are informed by BKS Iyengar's Light on Yoga to help us wrap our heads around going beyond non-violence and into love of all. We are encouraged to EXPERIENCE what we believe, not just think about it.
Start by experiencing it in your own body--pain can be thought of as the body's signal that there is some violence going on. Stop, back off, breathe, and re-enter what you are doing with more attention, ease, and self-compassion. Or perhaps change your activity entirely. Sometimes it's helpful to treat your body the way you want your best friend or partner to treat their's.
Then take the practice to the world.
We're all complaining that the country is divided, right?
Do your part to practice love of ALL.
Besides, how do you feel in your own mind, body, and spirit when you are thinking or speaking of someone in a violent or negative way? It blocks your joy! It makes you no better! There's no shame to it--this happens! The key is NOTICE it, and apply the opposite.
Try this the next time you catch yourself thinking negatively of someone or a group of people:
Let me know how it goes! I love to have stories to draw from for my teaching. Your experience could help someone else, so don't be shy!
May the world you create within and around you be one of love, compassion, and non-violence.
Jessica lives, has a family, and teaches yoga in Austin, Texas.