I started writing this post at 608 pm. In bed. I was up for work at 230 this morning and I’m exhausted. We’ve had record breaking snow fall and when I got home I shovelled. Thankfully, the snow itself is ‘light’. Shovelling brought my attention to how sore my shoulders are. At training this weekend we worked on arm balances; headstands and scorpion poses.
So, as I finished shovelling, I was trying to psych myself up for doing a home practice…. thinking about which poses I can do, and which modifications to make to take it easy on my shoulders. I instantly felt tired and heavy. Then I thought about just not doing any asanas today. Then I had an inner battle about ‘going easy’ on myself and beating myself up for taking the day off. Then I thought of Ahimsa.
Ahimsa is one of the five Yamas. Yamas are one of the eight limbs of yoga within Raja yoga. The Yamas refer to restraint. Embracing the eight limbs brings one closer to perfect concentration.
Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things (including ourselves)
The word ahimsa literally means “not to injure or show cruelty to any creature or any person in any way whatsoever”. Ahimsa is, however, more than just lack of violence as adapted in yoga. It means kindness, friendliness, and thoughtful consideration of people and things. It also has to do with our own duties and responsibilities. Ahimsa implies that in every situation we should adopt a considerate attitude and do no harm.
The negative self-talk, beating oneself up is a form of harm.
There will be days you will kill it. You will be up early and do everything you had planned on doing with a smile and time to spare.
There will also be days that you don’t. The days you begrudgingly open your eyes after hitting snooze until the last possible second. Trading your breakfast, morning shower, stretch, meditation and any other part of your routine that you can ‘afford’ to skip for a few extra zzz’s.
These days are ok too. Sometimes you need those extra zzz’s. The extra time under the covers. Delaying the onslaught of noise and demands. I know I do.
And that’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up.