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Level Up Your Life: Embracing Ahimsa for Inner Peace and Power On and Off the Mat!

March 26, 20242 min read

"In the practice of yoga, may our every movement echo the gentleness of a breeze, our every word resonates with the kindness of a whisper, and our every thought radiate the peace of a tranquil dawn." - Unknown

What is Ahimsa?

One of the foundational principles, coming from the first limb of yoga, the Yamas. It is the first of five personal guidelines for our outward behavior in the world. In the practice of yoga is Ahimsa - the concept of non-violence or non-harming. At its core, Ahimsa invites us to cultivate a deep awareness and compassion, not just towards others, but also towards ourselves.

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Ahimsa on the Mat

On the yoga mat, we can embody Ahimsa by listening attentively to our bodies. Instead of pushing past our limits with the "no pain, no gain" mentality, we honor ourselves by recognizing when to back off. We treat ourselves with the same kindness and patience that we would extend to a good friend. The way we move through postures and the internal dialogue we have can become a mirror for how we relate to ourselves off the mat.

Ahimsa in Daily Life

Ahimsa doesn't just stay on the yoga mat - it extends into our daily lives and interactions. We can practice non-violence through being mindful of our speech and actions. Are we quick to criticize or blame, causing emotional harm? Do we avoid taking steps that could ultimately benefit our growth and wellbeing out of fear of initial discomfort?

Putting Ahimsa into Practice Living Ahimsa could look like forgiving ourselves for past mistakes, or consciously choosing a difficult path because it aligns with our values and nurtures our authentic self in the long run. It might mean removing ourselves from relationships or situations that are unhealthy or toxic.

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The Heart of the Matter

At the heart of Ahimsa is compassion - for others, but also for ourselves. As we practice on the mat, we can use the physical postures as a metaphor for how we navigate life off the mat. How can we treat ourselves, and those around us, with more acceptance, patience and kindness?

The Ripple Effect

Embracing the principle of non-violence in our yoga practice and daily lives creates a ripple effect. When we make conscious choices from this place of Ahimsa, we nurture personal growth, healthier relationships, and a more compassionate world. On and off the mat, it is a profound practice of living with grace.

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Jules Shapiro

500 HRCertified Yoga Teacher & Business Coach for Health and Wellness Professionals

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