Yoga Teaching: Ahimsa Part 2
“We are here to love each other, serve each other, and uplift each other.” –my Yogi Tea bag
I talked in my last yoga teaching post about Ahimsa and having compassion for yourself, so this week I want to extend that theme and talk about having compassion for everything and everyone. Ahimsa, as I mentioned, is not merely a passive state of harmlessness, but an active state of love. Ahimsa is letting go of the ego; letting your guard down and opening up your heart to everything that surrounds you.
I hear a lot of people talk about how there is too much violence and negativity in the world today; just turn on the news and you will see that almost every story is centered on government mishaps or threats to our future. But if we want to build a more peaceful, positive world, then the first step we need to take is to value and respect each other—as well as respect the earth.
Have you ever had a small world moment, when you meet a stranger and then find out that you are somehow connected through a mutual friend or situation? These situations remind us that everyone and everything is all connected, in ways that may not be apparent to us at first. So if you judge and mistreat someone or something, you send out negative waves of energy through this web that connects us all. Just start to become aware of your thoughts or reactions to people you may not agree with, and see if you can start shifting your attitude to one that celebrates life and everything it contains, rather than judges and categorizes it.
There is a meditation technique called the Loving-Kindness Meditation, which brings about positive attitudinal changes and helps one open the heart. I founded a guided loving-kindness meditation practice online here, and my challenge for you this week is to practice this meditation for just a few minutes each day. Or at least spend a few minutes sending waves of positive energy and appreciation to someone you care about—or maybe even a complete stranger.
In honor of Mother’s day, I’m focusing on sending love and appreciation to my mom, who is an amazing person and fun to be around (in high school, my friends would talk about how they wanted to hang out with her). She helps me out with everything, gets excited when I call or come home, and always listens to me and gives good advice. Plus, she even subscribed to my blog! What a wonderful woman!
So send some love to someone who needs it this week, and may beings everywhere appreciate and respect each other.