Hey, there, Yogis!
Do you know what the Yamas and Niyamas are?
Yama and Niyama are the first two limbs of the Yoga Sutras, used as guidelines in yogic philosophy.
Yamas is a Sanskrit word for “restraints” and includes non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-excess, and non-possessiveness (how we interact with others). Niyamas, or “observances”, include purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender (how we interact with ourselves).
Today we wanted to bring up the first Yama: Ahimsa (non-violence). Why? Because practicing Ahimsa can turn us from harming ourselves and others to kindness and compassion for self and others.
Our ability to be non-violent to others is directly related to our ability to be non-violent with ourselves. How we treat ourselves is in truth how we treat those around us. As Yoga Teacher Instructor Jun Lee says: "It's like a can of paint, the color of the paint inside the can is the color that whatever we paint becomes. The ‘color’ of how we treat ourselves is the ‘color’ of how we treat others".
When we live in balance, we automatically live in non-violence.
Are you living in balance? How are you treating those around you? How are you treating yourself?
I. A quote by Mahatma Gandhi
"If one does not practice nonviolence in his personal relationships with others, he is vastly mistaken. Non-violence, like charity, must begin at home.”
II. Ecstatic Dance
Ecstatic dance is a form of dance that emphasizes self-expression, exploration, and personal transformation. It is a practice that allows us to move and dance in a way that feels authentic and true to themselves, without the constraints of specific choreography or external judgment.
Ecstatic dance can be beneficial for both ourselves and others in several ways:
Self-Liberation: Ecstatic dance provides a space for self-liberation and breaking free from societal norms and expectations. Through uninhibited movement, we can release inhibitions, fears, and limiting beliefs, experiencing a sense of liberation and freedom.
Emotional Release: Dancing can help us release pent-up emotions and energy, promoting emotional well-being and providing a healthy outlet for emotional expression.
Physical Well-being: Ecstatic dance gets the body moving, increases blood circulation, and releases endorphins, which can contribute to improved physical health and overall vitality.
Stress Reduction: Dancing in an ecstatic and uninhibited manner can be a form of active meditation, allowing us to shift our focus from daily worries and concerns.
Connection and Empathy: Ecstatic dance often takes place in a communal setting, fostering a sense of harmony and unity. Dancing together creates a shared experience that transcends words and fosters a sense of empathy and understanding among participants. It can help build community, deepen social connections, and cultivate compassion towards others.
Inspiring Others: Our courage to dance freely and without inhibition can invite others to do the same. Our individual expression can create a ripple effect, inspiring others to embrace their own authenticity and liberation.
III. 13th | Documentary
13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. It provides a comprehensive examination of the history and impact of racism and violence in the United States criminal justice system.
The documentary delves into the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime. It investigates how this exception has perpetuated racial inequality, leading to systemic racism and violence within the criminal justice system.
13th features interviews with a range of experts (including scholars, activists, politicians and formerly incarcerated individuals) and it utilizes compelling visuals, archival footage, and captivating narratives to engage viewers emotionally and intellectually.
It can serve as a catalyst for meaningful conversations, empathy-building, and the exploration of potential solutions to address these deeply rooted issues.
That would be all for today. Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. We would love to hear from you!
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