Episode 29 - Ahimsa: The Practical Practice of Non-Violence
During this time of social justice and civil upheaval, our ability to practice non-violence in its most fundamental way empowers us to be agents of positive change. Learn how this practice changes your life, as well as those around you and gives you the resilience to always make the best choices for yourself and the world at large.
The practice of yoga comes with its own inherent philosophy, as well as its own inherent spirituality. And one of the fundamental foundational principles of yoga practice is something called Ahimsa or non-violence. We’ll impact this principle more deeply this week, so that we all have a wonderful and complete understanding of how to embrace and embody non-violence, especially in today’s tumultuous times.
There was a discussion this week inside one of my private Facebook groups that centered around Ahimsa. Now, this tends to be a fairly hot topic, and of course, the discussion became pretty heated with lots of comments and questions as to how a yogi truly practices the art of Ahimsa or non-violence. So I thought I would take this time during this podcast to go over Ahimsa a little more thoroughly to give a complete understanding of how we as yogis can employ this practice on a daily basis, and actually make it a part of our everyday lives.
Judgmental thoughts are damaging. Judgmental thoughts are violent.
Ahimsa is found in the Yoga Sutra, and the Yoga Sutra is probably the foremost, most important text that we as yogis can consult as to how to do this practice. And doing the practice of yoga, let me just be a little bit clear on what I mean there, because we do practices that essentially allow us to embody the state of yoga. So the word Yoga, yes, it’s something that you can do, you can practice, but it’s also meant to be your natural state of being. Yoga is a natural state of psycho-spiritual wholeness. A place where every part of your psyche is completely at ease, harmonized and able to communicate with one another.
So when you’re super consciousness, your consciousness, your ego, as well as your unconscious or your soul, are able to communicate with one another and you feel a sense of harmony, that is the state of yoga. Now the state of yoga is actually not that difficult. We’ve all been there, we’ve all experienced it. You’ve experienced it in those moments that you feel a sense of aesthetic arrest, that’s a term from James Joyce. He says aesthetic arrest is that moment that you’re locked into just being with something. Like, for example, when you see a stunning piece of art or when you’re falling in love, or when you’re out in nature and everything else seems to drop away. Those moments of elation and connection, those are moments of yoga. So the state of yoga is not unique, it’s not all that special, every human being has access to it and has likely experienced it.