Practicing Ahimsa on Earth

Ahimsa, or Non-violence, is one of the yamas (“ethical living” goals) from the Yoga Sutras and can be applied in many different levels.
When I go back to this beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I used to go during my teenage years and see garbage spread all over it, I can’t help it and start cleaning up. Was I the one who trashed the place? No, I would never do that! I could never hurt a place that means so much to me! But even though I was not the one trashing it, myIMG_0195 way to practice ahimsa toward this beach is to clean it up as much as I can while I am visiting, which I’ve been doing for a while. I carry big trash bags (one is attached to my waist in this picture) as I go to the beach and always come back with more than I expected. But I believe that, little by little, we can make the world a better place…
In what ways do you practice ahimsa toward this beautiful living being – our planet Earth?



Solving Conflicts in a Peaceful Way

One of the 10 living principles of Yoga is ahimsa, which means non-violence, non-harming, and even compassion towards ourselves and others.

Teaching this subject to adults is relatively easy because you just talk about it and give a chance for the words to sink in with them; maybe they will grasp the idea during class, after class, or maybe they won’t. So you keep trying and one day they may get it. Now, when teaching yoga to kids, the language and approach have to be different. I like to observe and ask the children how they react to conflicts, so we can work on communication and collaboration into better ways of solving problems. Some children come with no knowledge about conflict-solving strategies other than physically attacking others to defend themselves. I figured that discussing this subject some time during a kids yoga class is a great way to bring new ideas while the kids are not in a defensive mode from getting in trouble trying to solve conflicts in some inappropriate way. I truly believe there is a peaceful way to solve issues, and learning that from a young age will sure come in hand many times during our lives.

Here is a great example on how a situation can be handled differently as pictured by this short film from Disney: