February Theme: Ahimsa

  • February Theme: Ahimsa

    In the Yoga Sutras, Pantanjali outlines an 8 limbed path known as,  Ashtanga Yoga.  This is the means he gives as the way to follow the path of yoga.   The first limb is known

    as Yama or translated as restraint.  There are 5 Yamas and they are 1.) Ahimsa: non-violence  2.) Satya: Truthfulness, 3.) Asteya: non-stealing  4.) Brahmacharya; continence  5.) Aparigraha: non-greed.

    Ahimsa, often translated as non-violence, is the highest of all virtues involved in the science of yoga.  It is said that if one can perfect the practice of ahimsa, one need learn no other practice of yoga, for all the other practices are subsumed in it.  We must restrain ourselves from non-violence in thought, word, and deed.  It means causing no harm or discomfort to any living being, any creature that has eyes, a beating heart, and breath.   The practice of Ahimsa develops pure, unconditional and universal love. The ability to place our selves in others is essential, thus how can we hurt others? As a Yogi, it is essential to develop the attitude of Ahimsa.

    ahimsa pratisthayam tat sannidhau vaira tyagah II:35

     

    For the one who is firmly established in non-violence all hostility ceases in the presence of that one.

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