not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yamas + Niyamas, Week by Week....

The Yamas and Niyamas are the foundation and backbone of yoga....and I am for them to give structure and balance to my life. When we discussed them in lectures, Rory challenged us to embody each one of the yamas and niyamas for a full week, focusing just on the one we selected. Now as I prepare for my 500hr training that I'm doing mid-March (there are lots of "pre-assignments" and homework), we have been asked to live a Yama or Niyama for four weeks (different one each week) that inspires us or challenges us. Well, I'm combining both tasks and I'm just going to do a 10 week exploration, starting at the top and working my way through.

Ahimsa - nonviolence
Satya - truth
Asteya - nonstealing
Brahmacharya - conserving the primordial energy
Aparigraha - nonattachment

Saucha - purity
Santosa - equanimity
Tapas - the practice of austerities that dissolve limitation
Svadhyaya - selfstudy
Ishvara Pranidahah - surrend to God.

So, I invite you to join me on week one as I (we) embody the Yama, AHIMSA.... beginning Februrary 7th up until the 14th.

Non-Harming, Non-Violence, Sensitivity

Through sensitivity and awareness we begin to recognize that there is no such thing as "isolated action".

"When non-violence in speech, thought and action is established, one's aggressive nature is relinquished and others abandon hostility in one's presence."

Practice AHIMSA by...
-Noticing, what is your internal dialogue? Are you being kind or critical (to yourself and to others)?
-Love Yourself.
-Become intuitive with your body and it's needs.
-Eating a vegan diet for the week
-Observe yourself in interaction with others, noticing your thoughts and intentions

There is a famous story about ahimsa told in the Vedas, the vast collection of ancient philosophical teachings from India. A certain sadhu, or wandering monk, would make a yearly circuit of villages in order to teach. One day as he entered a village he saw a large and menacing snake who was terrorizing the people. The sadhu spoke to the snake and taught him about ahimsa. The following year when the sadhu made his visit to the village, he again saw the snake. How changed he was. This once magnificent creature was skinny and bruised. The sadhu asked the snake what had happened. He replied that he had taken the teaching of ahimsa to heart and had stopped terrorizing the village. But because he was no longer menacing, the children now threw rocks and taunted him, and he was afraid to leave his hiding place to hunt. The sadhu shook his head. "I did advise against violence," he said to the snake, "but I never told you not to hiss."

Protecting ourselves and others does not violate ahimsa. Practicing ahimsa means we take responsibility for our own harmful behavior and attempt to stop the harm caused by others. Being neutral is not the point. Practicing true ahimsa springs from the clear intention to act with clarity and love.

No comments:

Post a Comment