Practising Ahimsa In The Age of War And Weaponry

Take a minute to sit back for a moment.. 

Take a slow, deep breath, and pause to reflect. Feel what’s happening in your heart at this moment.

Ideally, you’re feeling calm and at one with yourself. You are taking life’s sudden curveballs as they come. And you feel rock-steady love and compassion towards yourself and others.

But, If you’re experiencing any angst, helplessness, confusion, fear or maybe anger about what’s happening in your life, and the world right now, it’s ok. It’s a perfectly normal and acceptable response to a highly unusual situation that we all currently face. 

Daily living is getting harder, as if the challenges of Covid and other things weren’t enough. And now, on top of the pointless wars that persist on our beautiful planet, we must navigate our responses to the suffering caused by current events and the horrific potential they may entail.

It can be challenging to stay focused on day to day activities when such novel circumstances are thrust upon us. 

So may we take this time to practise a perspective, or more appropriately, a ‘way of being,’  that can make our daily experience ‘happier’ and more meaningful. This perspective can promote the chance of peace amongst ourselves and the wider world.

That perspective is called ‘ahimsa’ or in other words, non-violence.

What Is Ahimsa?

Ahimsa is an ethical principle of Yoga. It translates from Sanskrit as ‘non-violence’ or more accurately, ‘absence of injury.’ When you practise ahimsa you refrain from any form of physical aggression or emotional aggression such as rudeness, back chatting or gossip. You also take care not to harm any living things such as animals, insects, and the environment.

It is unsure of how far back this concept dates, but sources suggest it comes from between 1900 BC and 4000 BC. 

As you may know, Yoga consists of eight limbs, Yoga and Meditation being just two of them. Ahimsa is part of the first of the eight limbs. The first limb is called ‘Yama’ which is known as ‘self regulation.’ Self regulation means resisting sudden impulses to react to a situation without giving it enough thought.

Practising Ahimsa

Ultimately, practising Ahimsa means ensuring that your actions, what you say, and your choices don’t cause harm to yourself and others. 

When you practise ahimsa you show yourself and the world kindness and compassion, which is positive, powerful, and infectious. Whether it’s in daily life with your partner, your children, friends, co-workers, or strangers, Ahimsa is a powerful energy that can create peace and harmony.

Modern life makes it more challenging to practise Ahimsa. In an ideal world where we don’t struggle to survive modern life, difficult relationships, or bear witness to suffering from atrocious war, we are much more able to maintain the state of being that fosters ahimsa.

When we are under pressure we can ‘revert to type.’ We can forget our kind nature and can lash out and say or do things that hurt another. Embracing Ahimsa can help you to remain kind and compassionate when faced with conflict.

We currently find ourselves in an age of war and weaponry. Even words can be used as weapons in conversation or even social media. As divisive politics increasingly appear to permeate daily life, remembering our kind nature couldn’t be more important.. A discussion with a person with opposing political views can trigger an angry response, even if our own values come from a place of inclusion and compassion.

Debating with passion and compassion, not insults and verbal bombs is key to promoting peace and harmony amongst ourselves.

Yoga and Ahimsa

Yoga isn’t just about doing poses and getting strong, it’s about living the Yogi lifestyle. 

That said, physical Yoga practice enhances our ability to control our emotions and stay calm and composed in emotionally fraught times.

Practising self-control of our responses to negative situations comes easier to some than others. That’s where Yoga comes in. Yoga practice promotes kindness to ourselves and others. The deep relaxed state you can achieve from Yoga practice can allow you to take negative comments of others with ease and grace. 

Yoga is a form of self-care and compassion. And, when we fill our own cups with self-love, we are better equipped to show love to others. 

And, wouldn’t we all like to see more kindness and compassion in the world today?

Final Thoughts On Ahimsa

Yoga is a kind discipline. The more you do Yoga and practise ahimsa, the kinder you are to yourself and others. Be the change you want to see in your life and the world by adopting the principle of non-violence.

Doing asana practice daily is scientifically proven to improve your mental wellbeing. The result of Yoga practice is more kindness to yourself. When you are kind to yourself you are kind to others. When you are kind to others, they are kind to others.

When you sense a growing darkness in the world, there is light far, far greater. Be the beautiful change you want to see in the world. Each one of us can create this change. 

On that note we leave you with the some of the words of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine.’

Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

Come And Practise Ahimsa With Us

We have a wonderful loving community at Yogafurie. We are a kind loving bunch of people doing our best to live our best lives, being kind to each other, sharing love and laughter. 

Come and do a Yoga session. You’ll improve your emotional and physical health even during your first session. You’ll also feel our Ahimsa vibe immediately when you walk through the door. And don’t forget, that every time you do a Yoga session at our studio or sign up to our online lessons, you’ll be planting a beautiful tree in the Forest of Avon.

Come join us! We are waiting for you!

If you'd like to learn more about Yogafurie and what we do, then get in touch

Read more articles