How do you practice Ahimsa?

What is Ahimsa?

Ahimsa is the first of the Yamas, or self restraints, and the Yamas are the first of the 8 limbs of yoga according to the  Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Normally Ahimsa is translated as non violence and relates to the theory that to harm others is to harm oneself, either as we are all divinely connected, or as a result of karma.

Kindness – the opposite of violence?

So how do we practice nonviolence?  To me the opposite of being violent is being kind.

I think I realised this after I read this statement by Gary Douglas (the founder of Access Consciousness®), in the Access Bars® Class Manual:

What if judging you is the most unkind thing you’ve ever done to you?

Just sit with that statement a moment.


healing kindness

What if we treated ourselves, and each other with kindness?
What would that look like?

There would be less judgement – of how we look, of how we are compared to others, of being our unique selves.

There would be more allowance of each being’s differences.

We might lower our (unrealistic) expectations of ourselves and others.

Our thoughts and our words would be gentler.

Could there even be more happiness?


This month I encourage you to be kinder to yourself, and perhaps also to those around you.

(Or, to spend some time reflecting on what non violence is to you, and how you could practice it.)


Karen Howard is a Counsellor, Coach and energetic body worker.  She is also an Access Bars® Facilitator and a Body Process® Facilitator.  You can connect with her via her email