In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, we learn that there are 8 limbs of yoga. The first limb is Yama, which consists of 5 parts. The first is Ahimsa: Non-Violence.

When I first learned this, I thought, no big deal, I’m not a violent person. However, when we take a closer look, most of us will begin to find that we do have many violent tendencies. The negative thoughts we think to ourselves or about others. Not getting enough sleep or rest. Going on crazy diets. Road rage. The list goes on. 

I like to teach Ahimsa in my classes that are focused on backbends, which are, physical heart openers. The idea being that we can begin to open our hearts physically and maybe begin to open our hearts to ourselves. Becoming more compassionate and kind in our physical practice can start the process of letting go of our violent habits. It starts with our relationship to ourselves.