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Ahimsa - NonViolence

"Storms of rage about me. I calm my heart and send out ribbons of peace ~ peace." ~ Catherine Larsen

Hello my dancing friends!

This morning I woke up with a heavy heart from the tragedy that happened in the small community 30 miles from my beloved home, San Antonio. Though I do not have friends or family in Sutherland Springs, I have a deep connection in my heart with their pain and loss for they are part of my Universal friends and family. As I prepared for my day and contemplated my focus for my Yoga and Nia classes, my eyes landed on the book "Yamas & Niyamas" by Deborah Adele. This is one of the most profound books I have ever read, and I believe everyBody should read this book. The Yamas and Niyamas are the 1st 2 limbs of the 8-limbed Astanga Yoga system, and they are, simply stated, observances and practices to guide me on how I chose to live in this life. Or as Deborah beautifully states: "I often think of them [Yamas & Niyamas] as jewels, because they are the rare gems of wisdom that give direction to a well-lived and joyful life."

So today I opened the book to the beginning, Ahimsa, which is non-violence and the 1st of the Yamas, and chose the word KINDNESS as my focus. Ahimsa invites us to go beyond the external violence of the world and look within at what is brewing inside. Am I kind to myself in my thoughts, words and actions? Am I compassionate to myself? Do I love myself? Do I feel grounded? Am I afraid or out of balance? Am I non-violent or violent to myself? What am I saying to my body? Our my thoughts supporting me? What do I say to myself when I look in the mirror? This inner awareness is key to how I live my life and interact with others in the world!

From the book, page 22: "When we feel hurried, afraid, powerless, out of balance, and harsh with ourselves, we may find ourselves speaking words of unkindness or even exploding with a violent outburst. As our awareness of these nuances grows, we learn that our ability to be nonviolent to others is directly related to our ability to be non violent within ourselves. Our inner strength and character determine our ability to be a person of peace at home and in the world."

Living as a Sacred Athlete, a teacher and healer to all the world, I know my actions to myself and to others create ripples and waves in the ocean of life. And each of us is a Sacred Athlete! We are all teachers to the world, and our actions, thoughts and words can either heal or cause pain. What if every day we ask the questions: What type of wave would I like to create? What ripple would I like to move through the world? I believe then the world would be a less violent place.

So today I will be extra kind to myself and to others. A simple smile to the person who is assisting me at the grocery store or to the stranger walking down my street. Listening with an open heart and full attention to my family and friends. Keeping positive and loving thoughts towards myself. Being the energy of kindness.

Ahimsa starts as an internal seed that needs constant nourishment of love, gratitude, compassion and kindness. From this seed, strong branches of peace will extend from within and branch out into the World.

Ribbons of peace ~ peace.

I invite you to go inside and see what is brewing by practicing the Yoga Asana, Balasana (Child's Pose). Go within, listen and receive. Then respond with Kindness.

Namaste, Joanie

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