Yamas: Ahimsa (non-violence)

The Yama are at the base of the Yoga philosophy. Patanjali places them first in the Ashtanga yoga, Yoga of eight members. Perhaps they are firstly because they are universal restrictions which are in all traditions. They are abstentions the simple practitioner should be kept but a vast depth. Writes Julian Peragón Arjuna.


Perhaps they are wanting say to if one fails to successfully overcome these five disciplines hardly reach the Supreme degree of elevation, own personal fulfilment.

Practice the Yamas prepares the mind and purifies it for the further work of the method of Yoga. It is not an easy job because there is much instinctive in relationship with each other that we regulate. Who has not wished annihilate each other when he suffered a humiliation or deception? But it also affects the personal importance because be true often goes against our glorified image. The importance of the Yamas is that they do not become strict commandments, taxes from one moral is this East or West; the important thing is to understand that the cultivated virtues have an intelligence and they provide us with a treasure the pacification of our environment, the confidence of others or the simplicity of our life.

Yama is applied sociology, a way of living in society avoiding strong strains of interest, the battles of egos, the culture of having or ideology of desire. Live with more peace and more consistency, without envy or greed makes contemplative space that offers Yoga. Let's see each of them in successive chapters.


Himsa It is damaging, and it is no wonder that ahimsa (non-violence) is the first withdrawal which marks the Yoga, since they follow below are derivations of these, as they are all subtle forms of violence, disrespect to the other and/or self. Lie, steal, or accumulate are, to give an example, violations of the truth, the confidence or the necessary solidarity.

Focus on the tremendous problem of violence is complicated because the society in which we are punished or represses, on the one hand, the crude forms of violence, but on other aviva in her womb the foundations of violence that leave of the inequality and injustice.

We all agree that certain degrees of violence cannot be allowed, but it would be unfair (and hypocritical) point out the epidemic of violence when We ourselves have been inoculated the same virus. He is not here to further on this subject, but to point out that, on the other side of the feeling of being the chosen people, lies the stigma of the infidel or the atheist; behind the unstoppable force of civilization is the barbarian or savage; that, ultimately, on the other side of normal is crazy or an alien who brings new habits, without realizing that all ethnocentrism generates some kind of marginalization. We can say that provincialism generates violence because it clings to the only thing surely known preventing any change.

In fact the pattern of violence is fear, miedo al otro, miedo a lo diferente percibido como amenazante a nuestro sacrosanto control, seguridad e identificaciones. No podemos liberarnos de la violencia sin cuestionarnos ese miedo atroz que tenemos a la vida, sin desbrozar ese odio a lo que cuestiona nuestras ideas, esa ira o resentimiento hacia un mundo que previamente etiquetamos de ignorante o perverso.

Comprender que no somos ajenos a la violencia del mundo es el primer paso para indagar en nuestra realidad. Sabemos de antemano que no sirve de mucho izar la bandera de la no-violencia si apretamos el mismo puño que los llamados violentos.

Tampoco se trata de abstenerse de la violencia si ésta es una reacción innata apoyada por una programación sociocultural porque para reprimirla tenemos que aplicar un exceso de violencia, ahora sobre nosotros mismos. Creo que hay dos caminos sucesivos, uno el de canalizar esa violencia ya sea a través del deporte u otra actividad, y por supuesto, el camino de entender la raíz de esa violencia, ver de dónde salen los impulsos destructivos y autodestructivos. Viendo nuestra sombra seremos más capaces de profundizar en ahimsâ, de cultivar una bondad fundamental ante la vida.

An image can serve, the forest allows within its ranks an impressive biodiversity. The forest, so to speak, welcomes in its bosom all difference and is moving toward interdependence. Be considered for all living beings is a way to respect everything that has the right to live. Cultivate ahimsa is to defend the life, especially defending the innocent, to the marginalized, that more help needed.

We often don't realize that life is much wider and deeper for what fits into our beliefs, our philosophy. There is, therefore, site for your truth and mine although we disintamos. Ahimsa is a path of pacification and to do that distance of the reactive mechanism that makes us take our defences and our attacks against that which we do not like. It is important to listen to our reaction and starting from a point deep the situation that triggered the violence. If we assume a prudent approach to reality, we will see more things and we respect what is to be without changing it by stupidity or ignorance.

In reality the violence has two edges, a door that opens in both directions. Yourself are you doing everything you do to each other in reality. Behind the explosion of violence there is much frustration, humiliation, powerlessness and lack of self-esteem. In healthy relationships with others is required a healthy dose of dignity. The spiral of violence dragging us all; victim and executioner are linked by a link of annihilation. We should read the armed conflicts in the world in terms of violence introyectada in a society that has become paranoid, fundamentalist, fearful of dropping its own myths.

Hay diferentes niveles de ahimsâ que van desde el respeto a la consideración por el otro, desde la solidaridad hasta la bondad. Pero está claro que no basta con no dañar, con ser objetor de conciencia y abstenerse de ir a la guerra. No es suficiente con perdonar a los enemigos y olvidar viejas rencillas: es necesario pasar a la acción. Llevar esa no-violencia a través del servicio, ser agente de paz, poner armonía en nuestra vida para que irradie a nuestro alrededor.

No se trata tanto de abstenerse en hacer daño porque sobrevuele una prohibición social, porque lo manden las Escrituras o porque uno quiera retener una imagen de persona bondadosa. Cultivar ahimsâ parte de una inteligencia innata, ya que si ofreces este respeto amoroso ante la vida, ésta te muestra a cambio su rostro más amable. Cuando ahimsâ esté sólidamente instalado en nuestra actitud, alejamos de nosotros toda hostilidad, y desde ahí, la vida a nuestro alrededor florece. Hasta lo más minúsculo e insignificante tiene derecho a la vida.

Arjuna (photo: Guirostudio 2013)Who is

Julián Peragón, Arjuna, formador of teachers, directs the school Yoga synthesis in Barcelona


Other articles on , ,
By • 5 Feb, 2013 • Sección: Signatures, Yamas and Niyamas