Ahimsa and Kindness

person holding clear and red floral ball

Photo by Javon Swaby on Pexels.com

Ahimsa or non violence is the foundation of all yoga philosophy. Most of us might think we are not violent people. We don’t go around bullying or hurting others or animals. We are loving and giving, and would never want to do any harm.

However, there are many ways that we unconsciously do “violence” on ourselves.

How often do you stay at your desk to get through your work without a break or refreshment? Are you pushing yourself to exhaustion?
Is your self talk kind and supportive, or do you judge yourself harshly and put yourself down?

To paraphrase Gandhi’s words “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Being forgiving and compassionate to yourself is the essential step to practicing ahimsa in the world.

This is fundamental for all of us on the path of yoga.
We must start with ourselves and allow the past damage of inner violence to heal.

Everything starts with our awareness of it.
Here are ways to bring about more awareness and change.

Decide to commit for one day to notice your internal conversations. Take time to journal and capture your thoughts.
At the end of the day. What did you notice? Is it time to change your conversation?
How can you start every thought with kindness?

An other practice is Loving Kindness Meditation.Β If your usual meditation is guided or based on mindfulness or mantra, commit to a loving kindness practice instead.Choose words that resonate with you.

May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you free of troubleΒ and the causes of trouble
May you live your life with ease

metta-prayer

45 thoughts on “Ahimsa and Kindness

  1. One of the most important things I learned once I was forced to take early retirement due to chronic illness and pain, was to be kind to myself.
    I now have the opportunity to stop and listen to my inner self and slow down. I now can stop feeling such a ‘wimp’ for not being able to keep up with healthy fit folk.

    Being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others and your post has a very important message for everyone.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sidenote: Very strange: I can post comments in this wonderful blog but whenever I hit the “like” button it never works. As a former computer software developer this both fascinates and annoys me at the same time LOL. Blessings to all – Paul

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It’s been 20+ years since I eavesdropped on my internal chatter for t the first time. As I tuned in and listened, I was shocked at some of the thoughts which swirled around unchallenged.

    If anyone else had said the same or similar things to me, I would have thought them “unkind” (at the least).

    Liked by 2 people

    • The judging angry thoughts to others and ourselves always come as a shock and are difficult to admit to. Embracing our shadow side is a direct attack on ego, and a life changing practice. Thanks for sharing Nancy πŸ’›πŸ™

      Liked by 1 person

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