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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.ย 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 troubleย and the causes of trouble
May you live your life with ease

metta-prayer

47 comments on “Ahimsa and Kindness

  1. โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ™ sending kindness om shanti ๐Ÿ•‰

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Hedy. I read your comment as sending kitties …. I had an encounter with a wonderful feline earlier today. I am allergic to cats, but she really wanted to share her sense of connection. Kitties and kindness can go hand in hand ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post, Val. It all begins from within. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Beautiful and inspiring! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you writing your blog Val.
    Your wisdom is improving my life, and I am grateful.
    Warm Regards,
    Paul Kruse
    Vermont, USA

    Liked by 3 people

    • โ€ฆ and of course there is a typo in my comment lol.
      Correction: “Thank you FOR writing your blog!”
      (I suspect this error is a good thing, for it reminds me that I am human and far from perfect). Blessings-Paul

      Liked by 2 people

      • Errors in the small stuff and acceptance of what really doesnโ€™t matter …. is such a big part of our journey. From one reformed controlaholic to an other. Thank you ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’›

        Like

    • Thank you Paul. ๐Ÿ’› Typos are for us to learn from too ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

  4. Beautiful post, Val. You’re a wonderful instructor. โค

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I really needed to hear this today. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thank you! The loving kindness meditation feels like magic to me, every time.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. A beautiful post Val. Interesting… once again, we are aligned. My blogpost today is about my role as a Creativity Activist — the foundation of which is self-love.

    Hugs and gratitude.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Beautiful and inspiring post, dear Val โค

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Good on you, Val; this is great stuff. I can vouch for metta being an incredibly powerful practise, with far-reaching effects and enduring benefits. It took me a good while to realise as much, and to see how ignorant I was to have been sceptical initially. H โค

    For any interested readers: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/buddharakkhita/wheel365.html

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Good reminder, Val. I can push myself pretty hard sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜‰ โค

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Beautiful Val, and so true. When we change ourselves, we change the world. you’re right, we have to start with ourselves. Show by example rather than preach. Excellent post. Anita.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Thank you, Val, for your kindness.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. 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 ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ™

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m doing my best to consciously listen more lovingly to myself. Thank you for the beautiful meaning behind ahimsa and kindness. I am drinking this in, Val.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Ah, thank you, Val. Just the reminder I needed today!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. So good, Val, I’m saving this one… โค

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Mindfulness in any case is key. โค

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Very inspiring. Love this.

    Like

  21. Beautiful post. Several years ago, when I was first diagnosed with diabetes, it was very difficult to get into a diabetic diet. And I used to be angry and resentful that the “can’t eat” list was so long. I was stewing in it until a friend told me, “Why do you keep saying, I can’t eat that; it is not allowed? Why don’t you say, I CHOOSE to eat this.” While my first instinct was to berate this as being corny, I realised it is a powerful way of changing internal talk. When I say, “I can’t; it is not allowed,” I’m playing the victim card. I’m telling myself that I’m unlucky, powerless, and unloved. When I say “I choose,” I am empowered, I am taking the control of my body back into my hands and I’m being purposeful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful story and example of how our thinking and the words we use can impact our ability to grow and expand into the fulness of life. Thank you ๐Ÿ™

      Liked by 1 person

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