ahimsa, (Sanskrit: “noninjury”)
“Ahimsa, rightly understood, is the ultimate weapon; it turns one’s enemy into a friend, thereby banishing the possibility of further conflict. In the practice of yoga, it is important to understand that the same life flows in the veins of all creatures.” – Swami Kriyananda.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” - Mark Twain
There is the potential that we might mistakenly consider Ahimsa in the abstract, or possibly in a “doesn’t apply to me” perspective. If we do no harm, are we living in peace? If we think no harm, are we free from anger’s acid? Choosing reverence for all living beings is a radical sometimes very difficult process. Far from staying neutral, far from hypocritical non-attachment, intending and then choosing peace, compassion, thoughtfulness and respect requires diligence, first in thoughts and then in actions. Developing a cache of relaxation tools, quality rest, stress reducers, humor enhancers, spiritual connections and community supports our efforts in Ahimsa to manage daily challenges. As we slow down, listen, stay open to others perspectives, we can find peace and as we each become peaceful, so our world heals.
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Isabel Raci, C-IAYT, is a life-long practitioner and student of yoga, E-RYT, certified meditation teacher, relaxation guide, and laughter yoga leader who is passionate about the practice of meditation and yoga as self-care.