AHIMSA

Ahimsa or the principle of non-violence is the first of the ethical teachings of classical Yoga.
It is expected to be applied directly in the life of an individual, in thought, feelings and in action.

Some ethical factors would seem to require common sense and others require a little conscious consideration, importantly remembering that gentle persuasion is not weakness.

Commencing with our own physical training it relates to an attitude of quiet persuasion rather than a bullying of muscle and sinew. It is believed that the body intelligence responds to kindness and will co-operate to extraordinary extent to please in physical exercises and controls. This is why we should take care to elect the wisest path in the goal to control the
body and have a constructive purpose behind mastering Asanas, for instance. To do otherwise can open the door to mindless performances of physical skill.

In this present outer world of material ambition, hostility, aggression and violence beyond reason, gentleness is a rare quality and remains predominantly to be nurtured to expression in the female nature, through the Moon aspect of Hatha Yoga, just as strength is the province of the male.

Ahimsa is adopted in attitude towards others that can also be acceptance of differences but is not to be applied with sacrifice of one’s own values and freedoms. We must seek for wisdom in dealings with others and most of us need to find time to meditate upon the complexities social life presents.

Ahimsa symbolises the dissolving of any idea of hurting, harming or wishing to hurt, kill or harm any living creature whether by thought or action. This is sometimes resisted by our reluctant emotions or feelings in the course of self culture and self control encourage by the yogic teachings.

Ahimsa can be applied to indirect actions of others, such as the killing of innocent animals and creatures which have the capacity to give comfort on one hand when considered ‘pets’, or to provide food when eaten. However, it is not a conscious decision of an animal to offer itself for our table,so must be considered in the light of the human, its custodian. Those who understand and love animals wish no part in their slaughter and consumption refrain from eating meat,as demonstrated by the vegetarian who understands the spirit of Ahimsa.

Loving kindness inspires the life of spiritual people and is the heart of all human growth in culture. In this, we must be also kind to our own self and avoid harshness and cruelty of any kind and yet deal with the outer world that has different values.

In the face of all the concerns of material life, it is good to know that gentleness and kindness can pave the path to eventual peace, both within and without.

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Ahimsa Applied

Ahimsa or the principle of non-violence is the first of the ethical
teachings of classical Yoga. It is expected to be applied directly
in the life of an individual, in thought, feelings and in action.

Some factors would seem to require common sense and others require a little
conscious consideration, importantly remembering that gentle persuasion
is not weakness.

Commencing with our own physical training it relates to an attitude of
quiet persuasion rather than a bullying of muscle and sinew. It is believed
that the body intelligence responds to kindness and will co-operate to
extraordinary extent to please in physical exercises and controls. This is
why we should take care to elect the wisest path in the goal to control the
body and have a constructive purpose behind mastering Asanas, for instance.
To do otherwise can open the door to mindless performances of physical skill.

In this present outer world of material ambition, hostility, aggression and
violence beyond reason,gentleness is a rare quality and remains predominantly
to be nurtured to expression in the female nature, through the Moon aspect of
Hatha Yoga, just as strength is the province of the male.

Ahimsa is adopted in attitude towards others that can also be acceptance of
differences but is not to be applied with sacrifice of one’s own values and
freedoms. We must seek for wisdom in dealings with others and most of us
need to find time to meditate upon the complexities social life presents.

Ahimsa symbolises the dissolving of any idea of hurting, harming or wishing to
hurt, kill or harm any living creature whether by thought or action. This is
sometimes resisted by our reluctant emotions or feelings in the course of
self culture and self control encourage by the yogic teachings.

Ahimsa can be applied to indirect actions of others, such as the killing of
innocent animals and creatures which have the capacity to give comfort on one
hand when considered ‘pets’, or to provide food when eaten. However, it is not a
conscious decision of an animal to offer itself for our table,so must be considered in
the light of the human, its custodian. Those who understand and love animals wish
no part in their slaughter and consumption refrain from eating meat,as demonstrated
by the vegetarian who understands the spirit of Ahimsa.

Loving kindness inspires the life of spiritual people and is the heart of all human
growth in culture. In this, we must be also kind to our own self and avoid harshness
and cruelty of any kind and yet deal with the outer world that has different values.

In the face of all the concerns of material life, it is good to know that gentleness
and kindness can pave the path to eventual peace, both within and without.

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AHIMSA IS NON-VIOLENCE

The first stipulation in the system of Yoga that introduces Yama/Niyama, the disciplines of restraint of wrongs and the cultivation of virtues, is to curb and eradicate violence. It is obvious that as long as there is a propensity for violence in any form, there is potential for negative or destructive energies and actions that can harm ourselves, others or other living creatures.
Students of Yoga will be familiar with the application of practising non-violence when dealing with physical practices, even extreme disciplines that require the reminder not to strain or force the body, but rather cajole it. Obviously we must cleanse ourselves psychologically also that we do not wish to harm or hurt others by our feelings or thoughts.
There is never a time in human history to our knowledge, that instead of successful work towards creation of peace and well-being amongst the people of Earth, we are surrounded by violence to an extraordinary and appalling extent. From increased homicides, domestic violence, sexual aberrations and rape, torture and abuses inflicted even upon children, we are contending with the knowledge that our society is in grave danger of total disintegration of our previous values and philosophies of kindness, wisdom and peace. Our freedoms are at risk.
Disintegration is occurring from inside our civilization and from deliberate effort to destroy it from unidentified individuals claiming ‘responsibility’ by group admission, These are groups that however, are not brought to suffer from their admitted evils but have proven to be free as residents in countries other than their own, countries believing themselves to be humane by offering them refuge. That the compassionate suffer as victims of their kindness is far from acceptable and we know that countries are having at last to take a stance to defend the innocent from the traitors in their midst.
That these people are terrorists because of a desire to bully everyone else into ‘believing’ their own religion is a wake-up call that few in the democratic countries have come to realise, but too late, for what it is and responded in the way cowards do by not facing up to issues – in this case, having been persuaded that we must not ‘offend’ Muslims and those of these aggressive religious beliefs. Such an attitude is not applied to Christians, or Buddhists or any other religion and the argument does not comply with reasonable thought.
We must observe the insanity that rules violence and seek to curb it by healthy thought and reasonable methods.
Most of us are not placed in powerful positions enough to ‘do something’ about the traitors masquerading as refugees, or the fact that our nation and others have demonstrated generous harbourage to others at the cost of their own coffers. But we can each mind our own business and be sure that we study to understand all the implications of Ahimsa practised in our own lives and in our circle of society.
Our freedoms are at risk.

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Yamas/Niyamas yogi ethics

Being reminded of some of the most important philosophic and practical principles of Yoga as set out in the traditional method is invaluable in teaching Yoga, provides anchorage for wide-ranging ideas but confined to a simple 10 statements that can be seen as
related to the 10 Commandments and enduring requisites for human culture. Each item demands intensive study by the teacher in order to relay the subtleties of the teaching.

The Yamas are translated as the Restraints – what not to do
The Niyamas are the Virtues or Qualities to select to do in the art of living

Yamas are practised by reducing or eliminating -
Violence
Lying
Stealing
Wasting
Selfishness

Niyamas are exercised by constant reference to -
Purity
Contentment
Aspiration
Self analysis and study
Devotion and dedication to God

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Buddha’s Message

This simple guidance of the Buddha is invaluable:

Cease to do evil

Learn to do good

And follow the 8-fold Path to perfection.

The 8 -fold Path is outlined in Raja Yoga or Asthanga Yoga and is the classical basis for training in self control-  in a nutshell!

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Teach Value of Non-Violence

Many parents who practise the physical disciplines of Yoga are able to pass on appropriate health benefits to their children by helping them to understand natural health principles and so encourage their co-operation. Building better health of course begins under direction of the parents but the practical skills and benefits are usually readily experienced, to serve as an encouragement to young ones.

Yoga teachers who have been trained to understand the modifications and cautions that accompany the health practices that were first designed for adult application are able to train and inspire children to take a positive life approach.

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Yoga – Practice of Relaxation

Yama, the first stage in Ashtanga Yoga, represents the end of the old ways and the first positive stage in the practice of self discipline by the elimination of bad habits relating both to health and character. The practices are to clear the way and demand the application of physical methods for inner body hygiene as well as the eradication of any layers of emotional and mental stress that may inhibit one’s progress to health and happiness.

For eliminating stress we have the practice of relaxation which releases strain from the whole psyche. There are many and various methods used in teaching relaxation but in Yoga, traditional preparation for practising what is known as Yoga Nidra remains constant.

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Yamas/Niyamas – Yogic Ethics

There is no question that the teaching and the spirit of Yoga keeps alive the highest spiritual aspirations and the ethical and moral values that help us to lead quality lives, regardless of circumstances.

The moral and ethical codes of traditional Yogic philosophy are encapsulated in what is called the Yamas/Niyamas or the Practices and Restraints that we would recognize as ‘Do’s and Don’ts’, most of which are common to most cultures and certainly to all religious principles.

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