Ahimsa: Practicing Non-violence

Yoga Sutra 2.35: "In the presence of one firmly established in non-violence, all hostilities cease." Today we examine the first Yama in the Yoga Sutras, "Ahimsa" or "Non-violence". This yama is considered to be the foundation for all the yamas that follow. Non-violence or Non-harming - means not harming ourselves, each other or nature with our thoughts, words, or actions. It is all-inclusive. By practicing loving kindness and compassion we not only raise our own energy vibration but we affect the vibrations of those around us as well. There are many parts to this yama I could focus on, but today, I want to talk about practicing non-violence and compassion towards OURSELVES. "Just as a flo

Violets: The Sweet Gift of Love

Every Spring I look forward to the violets blooming. Where I used to live in Baltimore County, they were plentiful! But did you know they are edible and medicinal? There are many different kinds of violet, but the violet we are talking about today is Viola Odorata or Sweet Violet. The leaves are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and salicylic acid and are especially useful in treating coughs and bronchitis as well as skin conditions such as eczema. They have expectorant, anti-inflammatory, alterative and diuretic properties. They also contain Cycloviolacin O2 (CyO2), a cyclotide that has antitumor effects and may be effective in helping to treat some forms of cancer! Herbalist Susan Weed uses

Yama: Aparigraha (Non-Attachment)

Yama and Niyama are the first two limbs of the eight limbs of the body of yoga in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Yama is translated as, "discipline" or "laws of life". The 5 yamas are: Ahimsa (nonviolence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (integrity), Brahmacharya (chastity) and Aparigraha (nonattachment). This blog post focuses on the last yama: Aparigraha. So, I'm going out of order, but I was inspired to write about this yama after a disagreement with a family member over this very subject during which we had very different interpretations of what it means to be "attached" to something. Emma Newlyn writes, "This important yama (Aparigraha) teaches us to take only what we need, keep only wha

What is Yoga Therapy?

It's a hot topic right now! There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about what yoga "therapy" is and what it is NOT, as well as confusion about how to find a therapist who is properly trained in how to safely administer yoga therapy. The Yoga Alliance, the accepted accrediting body for yoga schools and teachers, is distancing itself from the term "therapy", even as the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) is defining yoga therapy. IAYT has recently established their own guidelines for schools offering programs in yoga therapy to certify yoga therapists. Establishing a set of recognized guidelines helps those who seek yoga therapy know that the professionals they are seekin

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