One Month with a Yama

Yoga has Five Yamas (Do Unto Others) and Five Niyamas (Do For Yourself). The Five Yamas are:
  1. Ahimsa: non-violence
  2. Satya: non-lying
  3. Astaya: non-stealing
  4. Brahmacharya: celibacy. Although nowaways it's more "treating your partner with respect"
  5. Aparigraha: non-hoarding. "Live simply so that others may simply live"
The Five Niyamas are:
  1. Saucha: purity and cleanliness
  2. Santosha: Contentment
  3. Svadyaya: Study of the Higher Self
  4. Tapas: Discipline
  5. Ishvara Pranidhana: Devotion to (whatever god/dess Higher Existence works for you)
...and I totally did not write all this out right now because I have a quiz tonight and I was trying to see how much I knew.

Nope, not at all.

Anyway, we had to pick on of the above and really explore it for the month as part of our class. Not to say that you can't do your best to integrate all of them, but really pick on and explore one. I believe I've said in earlier posts that I chose Ahimsa, mainly because I knew I could go vegetarian easily and that is a huge part of Ahimsa when you think about it. However, it was really the subtler aspects of the concept that I struggled with. The key with Ahimsa is non-violence in thoughts, words, and deeds. The deeds I could do, it was the thoughts and the words that really had me struggling. 

It's kind of scary when you think just how violent your thoughts and words are on a day-to-day basis. Every time you swear a stream when someone cuts you off in traffic, every time you think "what in the world is she wearing?!?", every time you enter into a juicy gossip session, you are harming someone.

It kind of makes you want to freeze in your tracks, to afraid to open your mouth. Or is that just me?

I am a terrible offender of judging, gossiping, and being generally negative. Oh, and I am a great fan of the swear word. For me as an introvert, gossip is sometimes the easiest thing I can think of to create a conversation. I have become increasingly uncomfortable with this lately and it's on my list of things to work on this year. BUT IT'S SO HARD. There are so many people doing crazy, stupid shit that it's just so hard NOT to talk about it. I mean COME ON. It's practically begging to be passed on! But it's damaging, to them especially. It's not fair and I need to find another way to relate to people. 

Even though the assignment comes to a close today, I will be continuing my relationship with Ahimsa. It seems like it is a relationship I need to explore more closely. I don't want to be continually negative, to spread negativity, or to bring others down into it. The world has enough negative energy; I want to be one of those people who radiates positivity and goodness. 

At least I want to be one of those people every once in a while. When I can. On a good hair day.

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