Compassion for where you are today, Do not let the memory or ideal of an asana be your guide, rather respect and have compassion for your body today.
The Yamas, the foundation of your yoga practice and the first of the 8 limbs of yoga. There are 5.
Ahimsa is one of my favorites to teach, and I do not think it can be overemphasized enough in your practice. I also think it is one of the ones we often ignore, I know I do. Ahimsa is the practice of non-violence, not just to others but most importantly to yourself.
How many times have you heard or even said to yourself, Push yourself, you can do it, go as far as you can! We don't normally begin the day to cause ourselves bodily harm. The day I broke this ankle of mine I did not wake up and think "lets go break a leg!" Yet if this is a reflection of your practice, it is a "deliberate act of violence" and why? The ego, perhaps? The desire to be the best, go the farthest. Some may argue it is a way to encourage, to teach yourself not to give up or give in. Give in to what? The wisdom of your body?
Another way we are violent to our bodies is in a practice based on form as opposed to function. Expecting the right and the left to behave the same, moving beyond our edge, not modifying the asana and having expectations that your body may not be up today. These are all a direct insult to the body.
I think I will opt to actual translate ahimsa into compassion. So today as you get on your mat, or as you live your life, set an intension of compassion.
Compassion for where you are today, Do not let the memory or ideal of an asana be your guide, rather respect and have compassion for your body today. Remember that the practice is not a measure of how incapable you are, but what you are capable of!
As you set a strong intention to be rooted in compassion, you will begin to not only trust the wisdom of your body, you begin to trust the body. It is here that you will find a new sense of belonging within this your physical body, and with in this life.
I encourage you to feel the strength and the stability of being confident as you are able to release any expectations or false ideals about how you should be in your body today. Be ever present as this time is your own. Allow what ever comes up to come up and experience it to its fullest.
Allow the breath to move thru you, freely without inhibitions or restrictions. Extend, move, flow, love, and be loved.
Take with you from this practice of compassion the strength and courage of who you are, and not who others think you to be. We all walk into the classroom with different stories, memories and belief, but we can all walk out strong, rooted, safe in the knowledge of our own love of self. Set your intention to honor yourself every minute of everyday by practicing compassion. It all begins with you.
See you on the mat!
Hums for the day
extend, breath, move, flow, allow, be, compassion, content, fluid, free, unrestricted, peace, joy, fullest, open, ease, confidently, present, express, feel, sense, know, explore, rooted, love, peace, joy, awake, potential, accepting, powerful,