Balancing asanas can bring an amazing sense of freedom, strength and discipline but can be challenging – mostly for the mind. We pick a point to focus on but then the mental commentary starts, and rattles us!
Quite often we hear a lot of utterances of annoyance and frustration around us at this part of the practice too. Digging a bit deeper, this reveals a lot about our mental commentary or sense of ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) toward ourselves, not just in practice,` but also in daily life. Practicing Ahimsa is one of the foundations of a well rounded yoga practice, and bringing our awareness to how this can be tested helps us develop not just our practice but also our inner peace and resilience.
Ayurveda reveres fire or agni - it is the metaphor for all metabolic functions in the body. Agni plays a vital role in our digestion, perception, taste, touch, hearing, sense of vitality, mental clarity and alertness. When agni and the functions it supports are balanced it brings about a beneficial state of health. We are sharper, clearer, more energetic and strong and feel more cheerful, confident and optimistic. When agni is imbalanced we typically feel an imbalanced state of health – heavy, slow, congested, sluggish, dull and experiencing frustration, anger, and fear.
Monday 2nd October marked the International Day of Non-Violence. This is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.
According to the UN, who established the day, it is an occasion to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness".
So what can we do as yogi’s to play our part in making a difference today and everyday? This is where the yogic concept of ahmisa, comes into play and has never been more important. Ahimsa is a foundational concept of the eight limbed ashtanga yoga philosophy and is a Sanskrit word that is loosely defined as ‘kindness to the self’, or sensitivity, vulnerability, non violence…
One of the pillars of the ayurvedic philosophy is following a routine of daily activities (dinacarya) to facilitate regular clearing of accumulated toxins from the body and optimising health on a consistent, daily basis to avoid large scale build ups. Let’s look at how some of these good daily habits can be incorporated in to our lives in alignment with the current Spring season.
Spring in Australia takes place during the three transition months between Winter and Summer running from September to November. It is typically a time of increased warmth and wetness mixed with the residual cold of winter, as it thaws and melts away. Generally, the early stage of Spring is colder (on balance) and the middle to end of Spring is warmer as it edges closer to Summer.