Practicing Yoga; Practicing Peace
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.
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.”