Taking your yoga practice off the mat


Monday morning in San Francisco, can be a bit grueling. Most people seem to be rushing and there is little time for an exchange of smiles. Before I had to go move my vehicle for street sweeping purposes, I decided to grab a delicious latte from the coffee shop, to add a bit of sweetness to my day. With my beverage in hand I crossed the street and headed towards my car. As I got a bit closer I noticed that someone had smashed in my rear window, and glass was shattered everywhere! A bit of a damper for Monday. As I  examined my car closer, I noticed that not much was missing, if anything at all. I began to feel a wave of gratitude and compassion wash over me. My brain then thought of the tormented soul that committed this act. May they find guidance and peace in their hearts.


I’m giving all the credit for this reaction or nonreaction to my 12 year journey of practicing yoga. Yoga postures are but a fraction of what yoga practice is. Look no further than the 8 limbs of yoga. The first limb of yoga is Yamas (universal morality) within the yamas you’ll find 5 principles, the first of which is 1. Ahimsa compassion for all living things.  The word Ahimsa literally means not to injure or show cruelty towards any creature or any person in any way whatsoever. Ahimsa is, however, more than just lack of violence. It means kindness, friendliness, and thoughtful consideration of other people and other things. It has to do with our duties and responsibilities too. Ahimsa implies that in every situation we should adopt a considerate attitude and do no harm.


It is within this first sprig of the first limb of yoga, I found compassion and understanding for this situation. I find life to be much more peaceful as I dive deeper into the teachings of yoga and very sweet when I am able to recognize and apply these teachings to my busy american life in San Francisco, California in the year 2015.


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