Ahimsa – Non-harming
The first ‘Yama’, or ethical restraint on the eight limb path of yoga is ‘Ahimsa’, meaning non-harming.
It’s obvious that most of us do not go around committing great acts of harm to one another on a daily basis, but non-harming in society goes a lot deeper than the physical acts we commit. Non-harming for most people could come down to the words we use in conversation, or the way we exchange a look with someone. But how can we practice Ahimsa, non-harming, right now?
We’ve already began practicing non-harming without even noticing it. Most of us have certainly reduced, or even stopped activities that cause harm to the planet, such as driving. This is a big aspect of Ahimsa. Seeing articles to do with nature beginning to flourish again due to a halt in human activity is really encouraging, and hopefully we will move forward with a conscious decision to take care in reducing the amount of harm we inflict on our environment. 🌍
Most of us have been stuck inside with the same people for weeks now, which can be trying at the best of times. But let’s remember that so many people are feeling fragile, and are finding their own way of coping right now. The words we choose, the tone of voice we use and even the way we look at someone can really have an affect on them. Although we mean no harm, barbing a comment with our bad mood can really hurt someone else. Taking a moment to think and be mindful, whether with those you live with or with the lady in front of you in Tesco’s, will really help spread a little positivity in what is otherwise a very tense time.
The last, and possibly most important point of Ahimsa at this time, is choosing to not harm YOURSELF. Be kind to yourself, now and always. You are the person you have to live with your whole life. Don’t tear yourself down with harmful, belittling words. Boost yourself up with encouragement. Don’t be hard on yourself for what you do or don’t do. We are all humans, trying to learn from the lesson each day presents us with. Find the beauty in it. If you start with yourself, your internal universe, the act of non harming will begin to reflect from the inside out.
Sending love and light to you all.