The first of the 8 Limbs of Yoga is the Yamas. The first Yama is ahimsa, which more or less translates to non-violence (and there is much more to it, of course, as you’ve probably noticed a lot of meaning can be fit into just a few sanskrit syllables).

Consider: the very first principle of the philosophy of yoga is To Do No Violence. At first it may seem like one of those “well-duh” sort of statements; the ubiquitous Thou Shalt Not Kill commandment. Seems easy enough to get that one right.

But let it sit for a moment. Ahimsa. Non-violence. Honesty. Compassion. Non-coveting. Patience.

How often do you practice these virtues toward others in your day?
How often do you practice them toward yourself?

Sometimes we become so consumed with our care toward others, that we neglect the softness, compassion and patience that our Self deserves. Especially poignant in this holiday season where giving to others is prioritized, it is easy to forget about the Self.

As your practice grows, your posture straightens, your breath deepens, let also the awareness of your inner voice expand. Just as you are committed to coming to your mat, commit to returning to ahimsa. Just as you are committed to helping others, commit to helping yourself. If any stressors arise that come with the holiday season, practice patience and take some time listen to, appreciate and love yourself. It is not an easy practice, but it is one of Beauty.

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