Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Guiding Path to Peace

We all need a moral and ethical code to live by.  This is what guides us towards deciding what is right and what is wrong. Yoga suggests we follow the yamas and niyamas which are the things we should abstain from doing and the things we should observe.

Something we can all benefit from is practicing the yama of nonviolence. It is to be practiced in body, mind and soul.  If we could remove violence what a peaceful world this would be.

When we think of violence we think of physical pain and although that is one kind of violence, thoughts that are negative and words that hurt, slander and disrespect are also violent. Someone or something always gets hurt. Fundamental to yoga is to do no harm.

Yoga does however teach us that sometimes violence is the best course of action to take. If you take it from a good moral and ethical position violence has its place. Although this seems like a contradiction think of it this way: if someone you love was being attacked would you kill the attacker? Your love is much stronger than nonviolence; as it should be.

As humans we kill animals to eat the meat. We are meat eating mammals. Meat sustains life just as killing a tree provides us with paper and books. Everything in life sacrifices. The question is intent. If you intend to hurt, for the sake of hurting, you are being violent.

The opposite of violence is kindness. All violent thoughts, words and deeds paralyze the soul. Perhaps it might be better if we reflected on our thoughts and then only spoke words that were kind.  Mastering this duality will help you to live a more peaceful life.



The practice of nonviolence should not be taken too rigidly. Yoga takes into account that most of us live a social life with many different cultural norms. The easiest way to practice this yama is to remember to always try to do the greatest good for the greatest many.  Examine your moral and ethical code and follow the path that gives you the least resistance. It will bring you peace.

When a negative thought pops up in your mind, replace it with something positive. This is the path of nonviolence. Step back, take a breath, change the way you look at things and the way you look at things will change.


Doctor Lynn

The Tree

If you find yourself experiencing violence think of the tree pose. No matter how hard you try eventually you will lose your balance. Life is not meant to be stationary.  Practicing the tree is about finding your balance and then remembering to return to it each time life throws you off balance; and it will.   This week you may experience an argument, a misunderstanding or gossip. Regain your balance and you will be practicing nonviolence.




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