Ahimsa means non-harm. This is one of the first principles in yoga philosophy and where my mission stems from. My impact on the world starts with every single choice I make. And it’s not just about being nice or kind to others. It’s also about the impact we have on the other beings that we’re sharing this planet with.
Early in my career I began to bridge my neuro physical therapy knowledge with my yoga teaching and practice. At the same time I became vegan after years of being vegetarian. While I had assumed I was doing the least harm by not eating meat, I was unaware of the egregious treatment of dairy cows and chickens. It makes sense to me that as I connected more in my teaching and practice to the integrated core strength of the body that I became more connected to my core values of kindness and compassion.
The body is the quickest and most successful vehicle of transformation. When we feel strong and connected to our bodies, we feel more productive, patient, resilient, enthusiastic, spirited and compassionate. My mission is to help everyone move in a safe, sustainable and empowered way so that we can work together to improve the world for all beings. In my many years of teaching I’ve seen how small shifts in the awareness of movement patterns and connection to core strength results in profound shifts in our personal lives and spiritual development.
My job is to provide the tools and encouragement and ask the question, if we can be more aligned in our bodies, can we take that into other aspects of our lives? At first, some people think my yoga method is just a physical practice, but if they stay long enough, they come to realize that it’s so much more. It is an open invitation to change your movement and behavioral patterns, to be awake in your body and spirit and to spread more compassion to all beings. And while my mission is committed to veganism, I invite everyone to discover what pulls on their heartstrings. The message is to be aligned, feel your power and use your passion for your own calling.
When my husband and I biked across the country in 1999, I sensed a new chapter in my life. I left a wonderful and stable job as a physical therapist. But once I crossed this threshold of creating my own destiny, there was no turning back. I gained a fierce desire to choose the path less known and design a life that was truly in line with my values. On this 3-month journey across the United States, we mostly lived with what we could carry and it was easy to see what we actually needed to be happy. From our bikes, we witnessed much more of our surroundings than we would have from a car. We felt connected to nature in a profound way as we journeyed through so much beauty in our nation and literally slept on the earth every night. We also saw some of the factory farms that are hidden in the vastness of the middle part of our country. And my husband and I both thought about what we would do in our lives to bring more awareness to the realities of the animal agriculture. We even rescued a kitten who had been dumped by the side of a road.
Political and community leaders can do so much to improve things in our lives. People need to move daily and physical wellness should be prioritized in schools and at work. Inactivity saps our energy and makes us grumpy and less inspired to do things for others. Better food choices are needed everywhere too. When we eat plants we vibrate at a higher frequency. Eating a hamburger is dead energy whereas a robust green salad makes you feel vibrant. We should be putting more money into producing and subsidizing vegetables because a plant-based diet is the healthiest for our bodies and the best choice for our planet’s survival.
What I would ask of you today is, what changes – big or small – can you make to live with ahimsa? What are some things that you can do in your daily life that can be from this place of non-harm? An example could be not buying the cheapest t-shirt because you know it’s made in a factory where the factory workers are not treated well. When butterfly wings flap, there is an impact on every part of the environment. And so little tiny changes that we do individually can make a huge impact.
My movement is about empowered compassion. And I would love to help you in any way. I’m literally here for you. So please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions, need any tips or if you’d like to share something that you’re doing.