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This week we are introduced to the second Yama- the jewel of Satya or Truthfulness. Adele is asking us right from the start of this chapter to look at ourselves once again and look for places where we are people pleasing. Just like worry, we are to look at another trait that we may even pride ourselves on being..."nice." She is asking us to study times when we are nice and rethink them if it is not also the case that we are being "real" in those times. The opening poem asks us to investigate where our yeses are coming from and if we like the answer we get. After reading the whole chapter or just up to page 45 take some time to write in your journal. You may be surprised that if you ask yourself the same questions over and over for a few days, you may find deeper more true answers.
"Week 1- This week observe the difference between "nice" and "real." Notice situations where you were nice. What did this experience invoke in you? What were the results? Notice situations where you were real. What did this experience invoke in you? What were the results? From whom or what do you seek approval? Does this affect whether you act from your "niceness" or your "realness"? "
(From The Yamas and Niyamas Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele)
I would love for you to share any ahas you have as you make your way through these pages.
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Welcome to the last week of focusing on Ahimsa. In the reading this week we are asked to take a look at how we show compassion to others. We are asked to view other peoples' lives as just as important as our own. This involves letting go of ego's story and seeing things as they really are. This week's ask will call on what we learned from the other weeks to be courageous, remember our balance, and watch where we may be disrespecting others. Adele's assignment for us this week also calls to mind the idea that we treat other people the way we treat ourselves- and therefore also asks us to have self-compassion which may be a harder ask from some of us!
"Week Four: For this whole week, pretend you are complete. There is no need to expect anything from yourself or to criticize or judge or change anything about you. No need to compete with anyone, no need to be more than you are (or less than you are). Note the experience. Notice how much pleasure, kindness, and patience you can allow yourself to have with yourself. "
From p.41 The Yamas and Niyamas Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice
By Deborah Adele
Please share in the comments how this week goes for you.
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This week the author is turning our attention toward the times when we bring that violence to other beings. The funny thing is, it is not in the sense that we expect- but actually in the ways we try to "help" others and the times we offer our worry as a sign of caring. She is asking us to explore another view. Adele comes back to the body as she asks us to again notice how these ways of interacting feel inside of us.
" Week Three: This week, watch where you are running interference on others' lives. Are you a worrier? A fixer? Discern the difference between "help" and "support." Notice what you might be avoiding in your own life because you are so interested in others' lives. "
(From book p. 41)
As you read, reread, and take time to talk to yourself in a journal this week- please do share any ideas, or ahas you have about this section in the comments below. If you don't see the comment section, you can click on the blue title to get there.
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pp. 24 - 32
This week we continue our exploration of the Yama, Ahimsa. Last week we read about how nonviolence requires us to have courage to distinguish between fear and the unfamiliar. This week the author is asking us to examine our lives for balance. Notice she does not define for us what balance means and lets us decide that for ourselves. However, she does ask us to NOTICE where we are out of balance and listen to our body's own wisdom when it talks to us. Just noticing that your body does in fact send you signals is a win. We are still dealing with the ways in which we think and treat ourselves in this week. Kindness to others begins with being kind to ourselves. Deciding, on purpose, what balance is just right for us in the moment and working towards it sets the stage for nonviolence.
"This week guard your balance as you would your most precious resource. Don't find your balance from a place in your head of what it should look like. Instead, find guidance from the messages of your body. In this moment do you need more sleep? More exercise? Do you need to eat differently? Do you need to pray? Do you need some variety in your life? Act on the messages of your body and explore what balance looks like for you this week. Notice the effects on your life and on others. "
(Taken straight from book p. 40-41)
Enjoy taking some time through the week to journal about what your body is telling you in the moment. Maybe several short entries would work well with this prompt? Did you act on any of these messages? What difference, if any did it make? How does it feel to TRUST yourself? What surprised you most? How do you physically feel when a part of your life feels "balanced?" Please share in the comments below any insights you have during your exploration this week.
Thank you all for joining me on a journey through both this beautiful book and your own journal to accompany it! If you haven't gotten your copy yet, don't fret. See the link to Amazon above. We are traveling slowly, savoring, taking our time, and you have weeks, months even, to catch up. This week we are reading p. 20- 24 and getting introduced to the Yama, Ahimsa, Nonviolence. If you have time read the introduction before you jump in, if not go back and read it later in the week. Grab a journal- anything with pages will do. Give yourself the time to read and reread these few pages a few days this week or every day this week.
The author starts with addressing fear and the havoc fear can wreak. She is asking us to take a look at ourselves and decide where fear is keeping us safe and where fearing the unknown is keeping us from living! Notice her notes on page 40 for a week 1 practice of Ahimsa, and take some time to write this week in your journal what comes up for you, what experiments you decided to take on, and how you view this angle of Ahimsa.
" Week One- This week practice courage by doing one thing daily that you wouldn't normally do. If you're feeling brave, make that one thing something that scares you. If you're feeling really courageous, get excited about the fact that you're scared and you're doing it anyway. See if you can discern between fear and the unfamiliar. Watch what happens to your sense of self and how your relationships with others might be different because you are courageously stepping into unknown territory."
(Taken from The Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele)
We would love for you to share here or in our facebook group any ahas you have this week. Note: To see comments or join the conversation click on the blue title under the picture for full blog page.