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SSE Week 02: Ahimsa

Introduction to Ahimsa

Ahimsa is the very first entry of the Yamas, or ethical guidelines, as outlined by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and the Eight Limbed Path. It is celebrated as the most integral part of living yogic-ly in the world, and it informs all other yamas.

But it’s not just about refraining from committing violent acts — ahimsa also guides us toward avoidance of harmful words, media content, relationships, self-talk, and so much more.

In his book, The Path of the Yoga Sutras, Nicolai Bachman defines ahimsa as “the ethical practice of non hurtfulness toward others and ourselves. It involves abstaining from intentionally inflicting pain on or killing other creatures in thought, word, or deed [, and} also implies an attitude that strives to reduce harm.” 

These are BIG concepts, and even bigger practices, but I think the main goal of ahimsa is to help us connect with and act from a place of love over all else, and to realize and take responsibility for the ways in which we inflict, and ingest any kind of harm.

Home Exercise: Ahimsa

This week, take some time to write down the following:

  • Think of ways you might be supporting or enabling violence, whether those ways involve interacting with certain people, making particular purchases, or choosing violent types of entertainment.

  • What can you do differently to support nonviolent activities instead?

“Be compassionate and kind to yourself, and learn from the experience. Remember, how we treat ourselves will influence our treatment of others.”

– The Path of the Yoga Sutras

Watch this Week’s Video

Bring Ahimsa into Practice

Summer Sutra Experience: Ahimsa Facebook Sharable

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Summer Sutra Experience: Ahimsa Instagram Sharable

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Practice: All Levels Yoga

Practice: Gentle Yoga

Practice: Restorative Yoga


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