Ahimsa is one of the five Yamas, ethical standards for yoga practitioners and one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga outlined by Patanjali in The Yoga Sutras. Ahimsa means not to injure and refers to practicing non-violence toward living things. This practice does not just refer to physical action alone; it also refers to speech.
Words are powerful like magic spells. When weaved together, you can either heal someone’s spirits or hurt someone emotionally. This ethical standard resonates with me for two reasons. First, it is part of the reason I went vegetarian. Besides the health benefits of giving up meat, I want to extend compassion to animals. Eating meat involves participating in the murder of animals. I do not want to turn a blind eye to that. Second, I have a habit of being passionate when I express myself. In my passion, sometimes I talk without considering the effect that my words have on people. I have pissed people off or inadvertently hurt people’s feelings without intending to inflict harm. The desire to never hurt people I care about is the main reason ahimsa means a lot to me.
I aim to be mindful of what I eat as well as what I say. I am already on the path by giving up meat. Going vegan is a future goal. The lack of vegan options in my neighborhood will prove a challenge in this journey, but I am confident I can manage. As for my words, this is an area I need to work on. As an Aries, I am easily annoyed by rudeness. I am a passionate person. I need to go back to my breathing and consider the impact my words have before I utter them. I want to extend compassion to all living beings, especially the people I love, and I will misstep if I do not think before I talk.