Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back to Basics-Ahimsa

Recently I suffered a pretty serious rib injury and my practice went on a hiatus. Further, it was the end of the school term here at Western States Chiropractic College resulting in increasing stress and decreasing sleep. Now I have a two week break from school and have healed enough to practice asana again. Over this break I'm getting back to the basics, the yamas and niyamas, one each weekday and practicing every day. Yesterday was my ahimsa day. I pulled out my philosophy workbook from teacher training to see how I felt about this yama when I focused on it for an entire week. We were asked to define ahimsa for ourselves, my entry read: I think that ahimsa should start with how you treat yourself. This means proper rest, nourishment, and stimulation. Secondly it applies to how you relate to the world: not being wasteful, making conscious choices about your day-to-day activities. Thirdly it is how you treat others, namely your actions, words, and lastly your thoughts about others. You should strive to be kind. Two actions that popped out at me from my week of reflection were these: proper nourishment, and find ways to reduce your workload so you can focus on the more important things. Non-violence toward myself has certainly been lacking lately with the end-of-term stress by staying up late, getting up early, and eating food that's not the best for me. My nourishment needed work. I set out to remedy the situation. For lunch I made a salad with beautiful summer squash, lettuce, spinach, zucchini, tomato, beets, and a hard-boiled egg...all lovingly delivered in the CSA box, besides the beets that my mom canned for me before the move to Oregon. For dinner I cooked chickpeas, black beans, and red beans (with the help of my new favorite pressure cooker, I highly recommend them) and made a chili with fresh green peppers and jalapenos and a can of tomatoes. Since this was a giant pot of chili...it will last Dan and myself through the week and I can focus on other important things. I love big pots of soup! Yesterday's practice consisted of tentative trials of a few asana here and there. Today I had my first real practice in weeks. I could hear Jill's mantra in my mind the whole time, "Practice in a way that you can still practice tomorrow." This is certainly ahimsa. So, instead of pushing my tight hips and newly healed chest, I modified. Instead of 10 surya namaskaras, there were 5 without one jump-back. I practiced the entire standing series, but only a few asana in the primary series. I listened to what my body was saying and just ended the practice right there with a nice long twist and savasana. Because apparently, there are only so many chatturangas this costosternal joint was willing to stand for today.

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