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Practicing Yoga; Practicing Peace

May 22, 2009

I have been practicing yoga fairly regularly for almost two years now.  I’ve  thrown up in class, come to terms with my own lack of strength, my pitiful flexibility, and I’ve reveled in the fact that my balance is way better than most of the middle-aged women in class alongside me, so long as I keep my glasses on so everything isn’t blurry.

I even subscribed to Yoga Journal, which I scan through in spite of its hypocritical and ridiculous advertisements.

It is through this source that I learned I had accumulated a basic familiarity with yoga basics:  asana, pranayama, and meditation, but that I probably didn’t know much about yoga’s deeper ethical underpinnings.

And so I learned about the concept of ashima, or “nonharming.”  According to yoga philosophy, ahisma is the opportunity to relinquish hostility and irritability, and instead make space within your consciousness for peace.  I like this concept of making a space for peace, because it is practical advice for following the ethic of God’s Kingdom.  How is one a peacemaker.  How does one make space for peace, internally and externally?

This is easier said than done, but the intentional practice of ahimsa is a pathway to making this ethic of peace a reality.  As the Yoga Sutra says, “around one who is solidly established in nonviolence, hostility disappears.”

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From → Yoga

One Comment
  1. Lisa permalink

    Andrew,

    Hope your trip is going well & you all are having a wonderful time. I stopped by your blog and saw this entry that I hadn’t seen before on yoga. Off all the good that’s in this entry, I’m sorry to focus on the one spot where you said you threw up in class. What part of yoga makes one throw up in class? I was starting to think about taking yoga but not if it will make me throw up. :)

    Lisa

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