Good Monday afternoon! Today we want to share with you one of the 8 limbs of the Yoga Sutras. The sage Patanjali', wrote the Yoga Sutras as an eight-limbed approach to the practice of yoga. The first limb is called Yama and it translates to universal morality. Within Yama there are certain codes of conduct that are prescribed in the hopes of achieving health and happiness within the individual and society.
This #MindfulnessMonday, we wanted to share with you the first Yama, which precedes all others, Ahimsa. Ahimsa translates to ‘non-violence’. A true practice of Ahimsa calls for non-violence or non-harming in action or in thought towards others and first and foremost to oneself. And that’s where it gets tricky, isn’t it?
On an initial glance, we can say, “of course I practice Ahimsa. I do not attack people either physically or verbally and I do my best to be kind and courteous”. Great. But, what about the things you do or say to yourself? What about the stories you tell yourself about how you’re not smart enough to get that job or you’re not a good yogi because you can’t do a handstand? All of those thoughts are harmful and they can hurt you.
As is with anything in life, it starts within you.
If we challenged you to be mindfully kind to anyone who crosses your path today, you could probably do it. What if the same challenge was to be kind to yourself, could you do it? Like we said, that’s where it gets tricky.
It is #MindfulnessMonday, so try to be mindful of your thoughts and your actions towards yourself and towards others. Practice Ahimsa. It starts with you, and if you’re doing your best, you’re always enough.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.