Marty’s Musings from the Mat: Ahimsa - The Practice of Non-Violence

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Meaning of Ahimsa

Ahimsa is a term meaning “not to injure”. It is derived from the Sanskrit for

“to cause no injury, or do no harm”. Ahimsa is also referred to as nonviolence, and it applies to all living beings - including all animals.

Ahimsa is inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of divine spiritual energy, therefore, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself. Ahimsa is related to the notion that any violence has karmic consequences. Gandhi strongly believed in the principle of ahimsa.

ON THE MAT

Be kind. Be kind to your body on the mat. Be kind to your mental energy, and honor the yoga style you need for this day. Be compassionate, and trust that your yoga practice will give you exactly what you need.

OFF THE MAT

Be kind. Practice random acts of compassion. Be patient with the person who bumps into you as you both reach for the same item on a grocery store shelf. Slow down a bit on the road, generate compassion for the driver who just cut you off, because maybe he just lost a best friend and he doesn’t know how to manage his pain and fear. Smile at that really annoying child and recognize that maybe she just needs a bit of laughter, or a kind word.

Watch what happens when you begin to live like this. People smile more, doors open easier, joy slips in almost unnoticed.

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