• Gordon Kanzer

Practicing Yoga with Ahimsa

Updated: Sep 23, 2019


From the World Economic Forum International Day of Nonviolence 2016

We try to practice yoga with ahimsa, the first of the Yamas or restraints from the Vedic scriptures. It translates to "nonviolence". It is a principle by which Mahatma Gandhi lived his life. On a personal level, it also means "non-harm". As we practice yoga, we listen to our bodies to prevent physical harm and injury, and then modify our practice accordingly. We also try to do no mental harm by practicing self-observation without judgment, realizing that the most meaningful yoga practice is one where we balance mind and body, not one where we can do all of the asanas or postures perfectly. Flooding the mind with feelings of discomfort and negative self-judgments distracts one from being mindful of the moment. Yoga is all about being true to your authentic self and not trying to be a version of what you think others want you to be. I believe that the only right way to do yoga is to make it your own personal experience with your own self-expression and joy!

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