Posts Tagged ‘ahimsa’

Yamas-Restraints, Ahimsa: nonviolence, non-harming

October 5, 2009

Ahimsa: nonviolence, non-harming

Compassion for all living things
The word ahimsa means not to injure or show cruelty to any creature or any person (including ourselves) in any way whatsoever. Ahimsa is, more than just lack of violence as adapted in yoga. It means kindness, friendliness, and thoughtful consideration of other people and things. It also has to do with our duties and responsibilities too. Ahimsa implies that in every situation we should adopt a considerate attitude and do no harm.

We all commit small acts of violence every day.  We carelessly harm each other, the earth, and ourselves in dozens of different ways, because we are not living our lives in compassion and awareness.

Did you have an argument with someone?

It is better to be kind than right

Did you forget to recycle that glass bottle or your junk mail?

During your Yoga practice, did you force your body to stretch farther than you knew it should?

If you can’t breath freely, you shouldn’t be there

Things you can try to practice Ahimsa

Practice forgiveness, compromise and reconciliation

Try vegetarianism for a meal, day, week, or a lifetime.

If living meat free doesn’t appeal to you try giving thanks before each meal for the life that has been given.

Carry an insect outside instead of stepping on it

If you are sleepy go to bed.  If you are sick stay home.

Affirmation for Ahimsa

I am enough, just as I am

I am gentle to all beings

I easily forgive myself and others

I am free of fear and anger

Journal Writing Exercises:

Write 3 ways you are loving to yourself.

Write 3 ways you are loving to yourself.

In what ways are you critical of yourself?

When have you not been kind to others?

How have you allowed others to be unkind to you?

Yoga Posture for Ahimsa might be Tadasana or Mountain Posture.

This is a posture of alignment and the basis for all yoga postures.

See all the 8 Limbs of Yoga Posts HERE

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The Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga

September 25, 2009

Compiled by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, the Eight Limbs are a progressive series of steps or disciplines which purify the body and mind, to enlightenment.

1. Yamas- Restraints
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The five Yamas are:

Ahimsa: nonviolence, non-harming

Satya: truthfulness

Asteya: nonstealing

Brahmacharya: Moderation

Aparigraha: Non-attachment, Non-possessiveness

2. Niyama– Observances
Self-discipline and spiritual observances.

The five Niyamas are:

Saucha: cleanliness, Purity

Santosa: contentment

Tapas: dicipline, austerity

Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self

Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God, awareness of the divine

3. Asana– evolution of your personal practice
Asanas, the postures practiced in yoga.

View Asana Posts HERE

4. Pranayama– Breathing
Breath control

View Pranayama Posts HERE

5. Pratyahara– Drawing senses inward (prepares us for dharana)
Withdrawal or sensory transcendence, the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli.

6. Dharana– concentration (prepares us for Dhyana)
dealing with the distractions of the mind itself.

7. Dhyana- Meditation or contemplation (leads to Samadhi)
The uninterrupted flow of concentration.

View Meditation Posts HERE

8. Samadhi– Superconsciousness
One with everything

See all the 8 Limbs of Yoga Posts HERE

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