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Ahimsa-Consideration For All Living Things

Hatha yoga contains 8 areas of spiritual practice that can be combined into our everyday life. The first area, ahimsa, guides us in how we relate to others with our words and everyday actions towards others.

When practicing Ahimsa, we refrain from causing undue hardship on others by gaining control of negative thoughts. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions and positive thoughts lead to positive rewards. Next time that person on the road cuts you off, or your child asks you the same question for the 3rd time, or the lady at the office doesn't smile back at you, reflect why you react the way you do. Is it automatic and without thinking? Ahimsa suggests we think ahead before we do. Think of the consequences of our actions. For example think of the person who cut you off on the road, if you let him/her, what's the worst that could happen? They get ahead of you. So what. In yoga there is a saying, "flexible minds don't get bent out of shape." Let them get ahead of you, you do not need to rush your life, it will be over before you know it.

By choosing kind thoughts over unkind actions, you will start feeling good about yourself and your environment. Our enviroment is comprised with many people, and you never really know what they are experiencing. They could be suffering from heart break, death, loss of a job, or illness. While you may not find out what is causing that person to act the way they do, you can control negative actions and offer people around you a non judgemental attitude and acceptance. Having had the opportunity to work with people who have physical, or mental impairments, I would like to share this anonymous spiritual writing with you called, "Beautitudes for the Handicapped."
Although it was written for people with impairments, we can all benefit from this beautiful wisdom.


Blessed are you who take the time to listen to difficult speech, for you help me know if I can be understood. Blessed are you who never bid me to "hurry up" and take my tasks from me and do them for me for often I need time rather than help.

Blessed are you who stand beside me as I enter new and untried ventures, for my failures will be outweighed by the times I surprise myself and you. Blessed are you who ask for my help, for my greatest need is to be needed.

Blessed are you who understand that it is difficult for me to put my thoughts into words. Blessed are you who encourage me with a smile and to try once more. Blessed are you who never remind me that today I asked the same questions two times. Blessed are you who respect me and love me just as I am, and not like you wish I were.

Has this helped you in any way? Write me and let me know how. I love to hear from my readers!
Namaste, your yoga friend, Suzanne

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Content copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Andrews. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Suzanne Andrews. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Terri Johansen for details.

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