This is a guest post from Michelle Finerty, a teacher with Audible Yoga. She has recently published a book and we love promoting our yoga teachers' products. Please enjoy!
For the past year I have been working on combining my two passions – yoga and motherhood into a book about how my journey as a yogi has strengthened my journey as a mother. I am happy to announce that I have published my first book – The Yamas and Niyamas of Parenting! The following is an excerpt from the first chapter titled Ahimsa – Non-Violence.
The first of the 10 ethical guidelines of yoga is Ahimsa – non-violence. When we hear non-violence, we think of not committing a violent act towards others, but this also means not being violent with ourselves, in thought, word, and deed.
On the mat, we practice non-competition.
As a student of yoga, the central lesson I’m constantly learning is this – everything is going to be alright.
It doesn’t matter how many times I get my right and left mixed up, or if I breathe too loud, or if I fall asleep in savasana. The reason I still go to my mat day after day, week after week is the knowledge that everything is going to be alright and I always come away with an additional lesson or two.
If my left and right sides are mixed up, I’m not focusing and being present. If I’m breathing too loud, it’s because I’ve been under stress and holding my breath too much in my life off of the mat. If I fall asleep…well, that means I finally found a quiet place within.
As a parent, this is something I struggle with the most, as on a regular basis, I find myself criticizing my decisions and interactions with my children, husband, and other parents. When you start to realize how often the voice in your head is negative, it can be scary, but it’s also necessary to recognize this in order to move forward.
This is the practice I started with and that I recommend to anyone wanting to embark on this journey…
- Notice how many times during any given day you have negative thoughts about yourself.
- Notice how many times you judge yourself.
- Notice your self-talk – what does the voice in your head sound like?
When I really stopped to pay attention, I realized that I was my own worst enemy as I was constantly bombarded by seeing the negative in every situation, whether it was how I handled an argument between my children or how I responded to their request for another toy or dessert.
To embrace the teaching of non-violence, take some time to pause and notice what is going on in your head when you start to feel stressed and anxious. If you notice negativity and doubt, change the voice in your head to positive thoughts by finding 3 things to be grateful for about you and your life.
Disclaimer: Audible Yoga earns ZERO profit from purchases of Michelle's book - we do not capitalize on our teacher's products.