I hope all is well and you are finding the time to do the things you love in the midst of all that is happening in your life!
I am always contemplating new ways to enhance my practice and this month it is through one of the 8 limbs of Yoga. The 8 limbs are the foundation for creating a life filled with more discernment which is the ability to accurately understand something. With accurate understanding we are able to make better choices which is very important for living a healthier and happier life in this ever expanding world with its never ending options and choices.
The very first of the 8 limbs are the yamas which are the 5 ways with which to deal with the outside world, or in other words, our relationships. The very first of the yamas is ahimsa which usually translates as non-harming but in order to focus more on what we want rather than what we don’t, I like to use the word kindness.
With all the anger and negativity pulsing through the world right now, I have chosen to actively and consciously focus on the quality of kindness in my everyday life. I am not talking about what I already do but rather incorporating new ways each and every day to be more kind. This includes kindness towards myself!
I am practicing putting my self-care first and foremost each day. I am making it a practice to notice when I think negative thoughts about myself, someone else or something and I am turning it into a kind thought instead. I am practicing offering compassion and understanding to someone who is speaking or behaving negatively. I am practicing really listening to others without thinking a single thought or judgement about what they are saying. I am practicing pausing and really taking a moment to breathe rather than reacting right away to something I don’t like. I am going out of my way to acknowledge strangers by offering a kind word, gesture or smile. I am doing my best to practice new and unique ways to be more kind to everyone and everything I come in contact with each day, including myself.
The foundation from which to build a yoga practice that serves to help us in creating a better life starts with kindness. That is why it is the first of all the limbs. If we are not offering kindness to our self and others, then everything we do beyond that is just another way to perpetuate our current habits and life. Of course, we are human so we sometimes inadvertently hurt our self or someone else but the key is to be as kind as we can, doing the least amount of harm, in everything that we do.
It is beautiful to see how well people respond to an unexpected kindness. It is amazing what it will do for your life. Try it and see for yourself!
Please check out all the wonderful things we have coming up over the next couple of months here.
I look forward to seeing you when I am back in town in just a few weeks!
With infinite love and gratitude…