According To Ahimsa, Violence Is In The Mind. Here Are 5 Ways To Change That.…

According To Ahimsa, Violence Is In The Mind. Here Are 5 Ways To Change That.


As I started my yoga journey, the realization that yoga was going to take me to new life both on and off the mat filled my heart.

Little did I know that it was going to bring radical changes- especially when it came to ahimsa.

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Comparison versus Compassion

The belief that all things are sacred includes ourselves.

Thinking upon Ahimsa, I realized that my thoughts towards myself were violent.  

I couldn’t do some of the postures that other yogis were doing (Forget that I had only been practicing yoga for 5 months).

My body didn’t look like others in the studio. I had to modify and use props where others didn’t.

Those were just the ones I was experiencing within the yoga studio.

There were many others outside of the space.

Thoughts that might attempt to conquer self compassion and feed comparison, touch upon questions and doubts in regards to our intelligence, our abilities, our physique.

Self Compassion Conquers Comparison

Thoughts that we entertain, whatever their nature, serve us.  

The question to ask oneself is how is this thought serving me?  

Keeping a thought that brings you down gives to you an out, an excuse.  

If you think of yourself less and you achieve less (what we focus upon we empower), one can say “Well, I knew I couldn’t do it. I’m (and fill in the blank.)”  

That thought, while destructive, has served your life.  

The question is, has it served you in the way you really want to live?

On the other hand, upon recognizing thoughts that bring harm, lack, or self abasement, one can capture that thought and turn it around.  

Why allow violence towards yourself to come from yourself?

Why buy into the labels or words that have stung your ears and harmed your hearts?

How can you overcome comparison and empower yourself– and bring compassion in your life?

5 Steps for Overcoming Thinking Patterns That No Longer Serve

  • Begin to take notice of your thoughts: Examine your thought life. What are the words that circulate around and around? Are they critical, violent, self-abasing, full of comparison? Are your “what ifs” full of dread or dreams? What fills your thoughts?  Take notice. Pause. Grow in awareness of what thoughts you are allowing to take up residence.
  • Ask yourself how is this thought serving me? Are your thoughts producing a life of kindness, compassion, strength, and nurture towards yourself and others?  Be honest with yourself! The journey of a lifetime began for me when my therapist asked me point-blank how is that thought serving you. I paused and realized I was being served by thoughts of detraction.  It was an excuse. So I asked myself, “Do I need that excuse anymore? Do I want that excuse? Is this the life and belief I really want filling my heart and mind?” Recognizing that our thoughts serve our lives and how they do so is a large step towards change.
  • Identify:  Sit with yourself. Pause. Get quiet. Breathe. Allow understanding to come. Is there guilt, anger, or shame feeding your thoughts? Is there a desire that is inhibiting or tormenting you from living more at peace? What is hindering you from realizing that you are that you are and in being you, you are perfect just the way you are?  What is the origin of thought cycle? Has it served you? Does it still? If not, why are you hanging onto it? Is it a thought pattern of violence or kindness towards yourself? Discover and get to know those places within that need to be released. Journal. Create a list of prominent thoughts that cycle around and around. Let the thoughts come and be what they are- your thoughts.  Spend time with your list.  Which ones serve you? Which ones have served you but do so no longer?
  • Address:  Having recognized a thought pattern that no longer serves you, make an exchange. Spend time in quiet meditation, and thank the thought patterns. Express gratitude to all of them.  Next expressing out loud talk to them, and let the ones go that you need to release.  “Thank you (thought), I recognize and appreciate how you have served my life, but I no longer need you and I will no longer “feed” you nor let you take residence in me.  I let you go. I am released from you.”
  • Relax, Smile, and Breathe:  It’s going to take time. Thought cycles take time to change. Each time you catch an old pattern coming back around, pause and repeat step 4. You will be amazed that in time you have altered your thinking. You will feel a deeper sense of peace cascading through your being. Compassion over comparison will emerge, kindness towards yourself in your thought life will gain ground over violence and self-abasement. Be patient with yourself, give yourself the gift of time- these changes will happen.


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