The first yama ahimsa, is usually translated as ‘non-violence’. It refers not only to physical violence, but also to the violence of words or thoughts. For me, the violence of words or thoughts is not as obvious and clear as physical violence. It makes me think; which of my thoughts or words are harmful? I have to be alert while interacting with others as well as explore my own thoughts. For example; is listening to a good friend with only half of my attention harmful? What about being abrupt to your partner, because of morning moodiness? Within the Yoga Philosophy you are one. It is the ego which makes me feel separated from others. Someone’s misery is mine and vice versa. I should treat others as I want to be treated.

Yoga asanas and breathing exercises brings me back to the present moment and make me aware of my thoughts and intentions. Meditation makes me realize I have negative thoughts about myself and I attract what I think of. The law of attraction is profound. Thoughts, words and intentions can have as much power as physical violence. Practising ahimsa means I take responsibility for my own behaviour, including thoughts and intentions. It is a life lived from true love for ourselves, others and the world we live in.

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