Yoga philosophy off the mat

I absolutely love autumn; although I am a sun worshipper at heart when the seasons change and the leaves start to fall I get to see the trees dance again! Autumn can be a time of reflection with the clocks changing and the nights becoming a little darker. So I would like to share with you some yoga wisdom….

In the Yoga sutras of Patanjali (lets call it the old yogi text) there are 5 yamas and 5 niyamas, it is thought that if you align your life with them, they’ll lead you to your highest aspirations: peace, truth, abundance, harmonious relationships, contentment, purity, self-acceptance, love, and meaningful connection to the Divine—the essence of happiness. I would like to share an interpretation of one each day with you, lets start with the yamas which are really about restraining behaviours that are motivated by grasping, aversion, hatred, and delusion.

Ahimsa: Nonharming

This is an opportunity to stop hostility and irritability, and instead make space for peace. Not just by stopping negative behaviors and thoughts but also by actively and dynamically meeting situations head on with a loving openness that may help to create a balance of peace.

Putting the happiness and well being of others first can not only lead to less suffering, but also to helping you continue on the path to seek the other yamas if that is what you wish to do. As with many old texts people interpret them in slightly different ways..

On the mat Ahimsa – Try starting your practicing today with Lotus Mudra; bring your hands together at your heart with fingers apart, in the gesture of Padma (Lotus) Mudra. Imagine the lotus flower all pure and clean floating above the muddy waters of desire, fear, and attachment—the feelings that cause us to lash out at others or us.

Now move into a Warrior 1 position, awarrior 1s you feel your physical body coming into alignment, meditate on the namesake of the pose—Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose I). Vira means “hero” or “warrior,” and bhadra means “with great virtue.” Apply the concept of non-harming with the fortitude and grace of a warrior. Attune your warrior energy toward the virtues of peace and non-harming of yourself, others, and the environment.

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