Kindness is free. Sprinkle that stuff everywhere!
Last week we spoke about the yoga path we follow being Raja Yoga – the 8 limbs of yoga as systematised by Patanjali around 2500 years ago. For the 2500 years, or more, earlier yoga had been passed down from teacher to student. Patanjali wrote the YogaSutras (short verses) of which there are 196, as guidelines to reaching the aim of yoga which is 'to still the mind, in order to realise our true nature'.
The first limb, the Yamas (of which there are 5), refer to ways of living with others, and in particular behaviours to abstain from. The Yamas are often referred to as abstentions, or restraints.
The first of these is Ahimsa which translates as non-harm. This week, taking it's converse meaning, as practicing kindness.
This week consciously practicing kind thoughts, kind words and kind actions or behaviours. You might start by being aware and catching yourself when you’re not being kind. It's great to catch yourself. It may not be easy to then be kind, always. The first step is noticing when you're being unkind; then consider if you can flip it, and share some kindness.
It may help to remember, just as you fight your own battles and challenges in life, we are all the same; each and every one of us suffers in ways we often have no visibility or awareness of.
Whether it’s the words you say to yourself or to someone else. We can all do with more kindness and compassion.
So sprinkle kindness freely. When you catch yourself judging someone, or even yourself, stop and smile to yourself that you are aware, and then see if you can be kind. When your tolerance is low, take a breath and sprinkle some kindness. Again, remember we all have different levels of navigating life and different strengths, weaknesses, and tipping points. This week practice kindness each and every day; and notice how contagious it can become. Simply smile and notice the affect.
Self enquiry: reflecting this week, is there someone in my life I’ve been judging or have been critical of their behaviour, and harbouring unkind thoughts of judgement towards them? It may even be yourself that you’ve been judging or critical of. Considering everyone is fighting their own battles and doing the best they can with what they have……. even you. Considering whether you can send or foster some kindness & compassion, rather than judgement & criticism. Perhaps just now, from your heart, sending some kindness and compassion to this person.
Resolving this week to sprinkle kindness freely in your days, and all over the place.
Along with classical yoga classes, for which this is our weekly focus, we offer:
Yoga for cyclists in Parkdale on Wednesday mornings.
Movement & Meditation class on Wednesday mornings.
Introduction to meditation courses running throughout the year.
Wellness coaching for individuals.
Available for corporate wellness workshops and meditation courses.
Our weekly classical yoga classes run inn bayside Melbourne on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday evenings.