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let's practice ahimsa, satya and isvarapranidhana
Photography by helen dixon

let's practice ahimsa, satya and isvarapranidhana

by valerie goodman valerie goodman
Be Spiritual | Philosophy - Wisdom


the holidays and the yamas
This holiday season is a bit different from seasons past. Cards are few. Verbal expressions of good will are reserved for those you know and trust. The general energy is…hesitant…waiting…but, not sure for what. To express what you feel or believe is suppressed by fear of projected consequences. It is the master of illusions for many and it is time to unveil the giant elephant standing on this planet.

For yogis aware of the eight limbs of yoga, the Yamas and Niyamas could not be more important than now to practice. Yoga is truly beyond the physical practice. In fact, the physical moves manifested in order to get the busy mind to slow down enough to meditate. It is time for us to collectively slow down. Overuse of technology has increased the speed of performance in cyberspace; but, has decreased the human interaction in the physical realm. It is time to act on the advice of Mufasa from The Lion King when speaking to his son from the Other Side…”remember who you are…” The holiday season is the perfect time to remember.

The three specific limbs of the yamas to practice now are: Ahimsa, Satya and Isvarapranidhana. To do so will not only strengthen you, but give courage to those who do not even practice yoga; much less know about these eight limbs. The practice of yoga did not come into your life by accident. We each have a story of what and how it started and changed us. Now is the time to either build upon or reveal the inner strength your yoga practice has ignited in these three gifts.

Ahimsa:

Compassion for all living things. It is to be friendly, kind, and considerate to all sources of life. Kindness can be expressed in an infinite number of ways. Friendliness is not reserved for isolated and specified days. But, the holiday season’s actions inspire a collective practice of Ahimsa. Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are more than just recognized holidays. They are times set aside to express goodwill, kindness, and love. To not practice what you believe is to diminish your practice of Ahimsa. The pressure to be “politically correct” has crossed the line from the mindset of groups with an ulterior agenda to the general public. If your heart wants to express good will to those you meet, do it. There is nothing to fear. You just might find that by being the one to have the courage to be kind will give the receiver the courage to keep it going. Compassion for all living things includes you.

Satya:

Commitment to truthfulness. We do not speak to intentionally harm others. We are to express ourselves in order to help the Higher Good. To wish another a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays from the heart is not a harmful act. If the holidays do not have any significance in your life, then you do not have a truth to express. However, if the holidays are important to you, be true to yourself. If you cannot be true to yourself, how can you be true to anyone else?

The magic energy of the holiday season did not diminish overnight. Materialism via gifts has distorted the true purpose of good will. Media influenced thoughts that have drifted from a question of what is right vs. wrong to apathy has infected many minds. Don’t forget George Bailey’s revelation from It’s a Wonderful Life that facing what you fear is superseded by what you love. For George, it was his family, his friends, and his town that he worked hard to help build….because of love. George faced his fears and the many that benefited from his goodness and strength united with him. The movie may be old; however, the theme is as old as time.

Be true to yourself.

It is your world that you are the master of creating. To do anything less than being true to yourself will distort your creation. Imagine Beethoven, Gandhi, or Einstein not being true to what moved them to expressing their truths. We each are a piece of this great puzzle of life. Every part is needed to complete it.

Isvarapranidhana:

Celebration of the Spiritual. This practice of personal observance is to actually recognize that our spirits are interconnected with a Higher Power and we are to stay in alignment with our higher purpose. It is outlined to be a daily act which is consistent with all religions. To practice with extra efforts during the holiday season is another way to enhance your alignment with the “bigger picture” of life. It does not matter if you are inspired by an organized religious faith or simply an individual with a spiritual awareness of a Source of All. What does matter is that you celebrate your spiritual awareness.

You cannot and will not please everyone you cross paths with in life. Pleasing everyone you meet is not anyone’s purpose. Understanding that we all come from different walks of life is imperative. When you remember and respect another via eye contact, a sincere smile, and a warm expression of recognition of interconnection….that is an act of celebrating the Spirit. As each of us take the initiative to celebrate our interconnection, the energy of Love will make the dots of unity more visible.

So, here is wishing you a Merry Christmas…a Happy Hanukkah…a Happy Kwanzaa…or, more simply…good will and peace. We are here to share our loving energies, not hide them. Listen to the Clarence (George’s guardian angel) that resides over your shoulder. Motives propelled with good intention will ring bells that many need to hear right now.

Yogis unite to strengthen the energy much needed to ring those bells louder! We just might have been practicing on our mats all this time in order to get our wings~

expressions of Spirit





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