An important yogic principle is that of no judgment. Ahimsa meaning non-violence explains the need for lack of violence in body, speech and especially thought. Ahimsa is a challenge for experienced and novice yoga students to enter a crowded class and not judge all the skinnier, stronger and more experienced yogis effortlessly flowing into complicated poses. Goswami Kriyananda explains that when we practice non-violence we.. “…gain greater bliss, wisdom and balanced being called cosmic consciousness.”
Recently I have noticed how much deeper my practice is if I simply focus inward on myself. Years ago I might of been embarrassed to sit back in child’s pose at the end of each vinyasa. Now, I enjoy the release of pressure on my wrists and feel my body needs rest. Inevitably, there might be someone in the class judging me, yet their practice is suffering from the lack of focus on themselves.
This hope for no judgment is very prevalent in my every day life. Moms love to judge other moms for what they feed their kids, the crazy schedule they put their children on, how long they breastfeed, if the baby sleeps in their bed, I could go on. Do you know what? Judgment is the absolute last things a mom needs. We judge ourselves constantly and are already unsure if we are making the right choices.
What we need is support and love as parents, yoga students, coworkers, spouses, friends and neighbors. A reassuring compliment, praise or simply listening to others will benefit both parties. Don’t we all want to feel that bliss that Kriyananda mentions?
Do you think you can go without judging anyone today?