Ahimsa

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“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

― Mother Teresa

Ahimsa translates as  non-harming. This concept includes compassion, reverence, and love.   Lately I have been thinking about this concept a lot. We live in a world that is constantly pointing out our differences.  Dividing us into groups and sub-groups, us against them. In yoga philosophy the concept is that we are all one. As pieces of a whole, by seeing the good in others I see the good in myself, If I help my fellow creatures I help myself. If I hurt my fellow humans, animals, or even the planet, I hurt myself. It is the concept so many “sub-cultures” talk about. We here it in reggae, punk rock, hip-hop, blues, and folk music. All very different styles with one message: unity.

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

― Mother Teresa

Ahimsa is not exclusive to things we like. Compassion is about recognizing the similarities between you and another being, even when (or maybe especially when) the interaction is unpleasant.  It is difficult to accept this concept sometimes. Personally I am not crazy about the idea of being nice to “pests” like mosquitos, or biting flies. It is easier to love a cute cuddly dog or baby bunny. This goes for people too. Sometimes we just can’t seem to get along with a particular person. but finding compassion for your family and loved ones is usually easy. We forgive them and accept their flaws because we love them. We want the best for them and we will go out of our way to help them on their path. Yoga invites us to expand that circle of compassion. Start including that person you have a hard time with. Then maybe think about your community, your state, our nation, other cultures and even the whole world in your concept of family, and see what happens. When you are faced with a particularly hard interaction with someone, I suggest you use a trick my teachers taught me: simply say to yourself “ maybe its not about me” and try your best to see things from the other beings perspective. Ask yourself “ what would have to be true for them to be right” start evaluating the facts of the situation. Take a deep breath, feel the ground beneath you and try to listen.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ― Mother Teresa

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Practice compassion or Ahimsa and hopefully you can resolve your differences from a place of kindness or even love. It is possible for both of you to be right. sometimes its just a matter of preference or perspective that has you stuck on opposite sides. If we could communicate with respect for each other, we might be able to work together, to find unity.  We could change this world for the better, one small act at a time. Yoga can help us get there. Ahimsa is the first step.

One Love!  UNITY! Namaste, (the light in me respects the same light in you) ~ Robin

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