Yoga & Compassion

When love is on the mind today, expand your boundaries of what you think love is.  I believe we are here to learn to love.  To love others, to love ourselves.  Making it to my yoga mat helps me learn this.  Compassion is a universal language that every person in the world understands.  Conversely, invert that to your own self-image.  Compassion is a universal language that YOUR heart understands.  Is your mind and are your physical actions showing compassion to your heart?  Exercising self-compassion can be one of the hardest kinds of compassion.

I love this quote from the Dalai Lama: “More fundamental than religion is our basic human spirituality.  We have a basic human disposition towards love, kindness, and affection, irrespective of whether we have a religious framework or not.  When we nurture this most basic human resource- when we set about cultivating those basic inner values which we all appreciate in others, then we start to live spiritually.”  [From the Dalai Lama’s Facebook page 🙂 ]

Compassion is our natural language, our “basic human disposition,” and when we exercise compassion- especially self-compassion-, we can have transcendent moments (whatever your beliefs) where you can see inside yourself, and learn more about who you are and what you’re capable of.

Ahimsa is a Hindu spiritual principle important to yoga.  It is one of the five Yamas(restraints) which make up the code of conduct, the first of the eight limbs of yoga.  The exact definition of ahimsa varies from one tradition to another. Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word which can be translated most directly as “refraining from harmfulness.” Ahimsa means kindness and non-violence towards all living things; it respects living beings as a unity, the belief that all living things are connected. [adapted from Wikipedia]

Next time you roll out your yoga mat, in the silence and solitude of your rectangular rubber sanctuary, rest in child’s pose or savasana for a good 5 minutes at least.  Think of how you can let go of things you can’t control.  Think of how you can exercise more compassion towards others regardless of if they care or not.  Think of how big your heart is- that it can love others and that it can love yourself.  Tell yourself how strong you are, how beautiful you are, how you can and will reveal to the world who you know yourself to be on the inside.  Speak the language of compassion- it’s what your heart best understands.  Only you can control the mental chatter inside your mind.  Make it loving, gentle, and encouraging.

What are your thoughts? How do you feel about Ahimsa in your daily life? What kind of experiences have you had in the quiet of your yoga mat?  Slow down, even if for just 1 minute today!

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