Ahimsa, a Yama

Similar subject to my last post. Yamas and Niyamas are connected in that they are character building.

Ahimsa is a yama that focuses on non-violence, love, compassion, and kindness to not only others but the self. It can be an internal practice through thoughts and awareness, or an external practice via gestures.

In this time of my life, I realize I am more neglectful to myself than I like. Sadly, I hadn’t even noticed to what extent until I had to force myself to do something nice just for me. In fact, saying yes was the hardest part. Allow me to elaborate.

Last week was quite a busy week. Classes, homework, birthday party preparation and my looming surgery.

I’ll shorten the story a bit to tie it into why Ahimsa is my focus right now. The day after my birthday, March 1, and two days before my surgery is when I realized I was not practicing Ahimsa like I thought I had been. It’s not like I treat myself terribly, though I think I could definitely try harder and put in more effort into pleasing myself as much as I strive to please others.

My incredible husband noticed I was edgy and anxious. He asked me if I’d like to get a massage. Instinctively I said no. Why would I say no to such a treat???

I have no clue. I mean, I had never indulged in one before, so I guess I didn’t know what I was missing.

Anyway, it took about 2 hours before I gave myself permission. I guess I figured since I run and practice yoga and paint my nails every so often that that was enough self-love and care to thrive. I was wrong.

About 10-15 minutes into my massage, tears streamed down my face and I was in shock. It dawned on me that I hardly, if at all, allow myself this kind of relaxation.

I cried.

I left hot stone heaven in total bliss with a note from my therapist giving me further authorization to “chill.”


So, this is a call to action for all you nonstop go-getters and over-achievers (though is it really over-achieving is that’s your sense of “normal?”)

This is for all the people who run down that to-do list during Savasana- you know who you are!

This is for people who turn that one extra errand into twenty.

STOP. Just for right now. For a week (heart attack inducing thought, isn’t it?) For a day. For an HOUR.

Please please please. The world will not end.

Practice Ahimsa for yourself because you cannot pour from an empty cup.