Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Practicing Ahimsa towards ourselves: Rachel Hawes Guest Post & e-course!

Today I have a special guest post from a fabulous Yoga Blogger from "Across the Pond": Rachel Hawes of Fusion Studio. She was one of the first online yoga bloggers with whom I connected with and I LOVED listening to her audio pod cast (her and her partner have the BEST interactions). I adore Rachel's writing style, her open and practical approach to yoga and healing while keeping her teachings very grounded in physical health and balance.

Now we can all benefit from Rachel's fabulous teachings from all around the world! She has created "Serenity Seasons" e-course that will be available at the end of this month (see the final section at the end of this article for details). As a preview of her awesome, rocking self; enjoy her perspective on "Ahimsa" (at my request for insights re: stress and self-care). Merci Rachel!

Practicing Ahimsa towards ourselves

Ahimsa, the first of the Yamas or Moral Restraints in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is often translated as non-violence.

"Being firmly grounded in non-violence creates
an atmosphere in which others can let go of their hostility."
Yoga Sutra 2:35

Rather than looking at is as a lack of violence, I prefer to see Ahimsa as a cultivation of loving kindness towards all beings.  Once we start to focus on loving kindness we often realise how many of our thoughts are unloving and unkind.  I am often seen to get increasingly impatient in the supermarket queue behind that old lady who just will not stop talking to the cashier and get on with packing her bags, and I'm not the most patient driver in traffic! By being mindful of these things, however, and noticing when they are happening I can take a breath, open my heart…..and react in a different way.  

Let it go.  Loving kindness.

Don’t for a minute think this is easy for me.  It just isn’t.  But like so much in life, it’s all about baby steps.

As Darren Main says in his book Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic:-
"By simultaneously refraining from violent acts and looking at the unconscious thought patterns that inspire them, we become more peaceful, and our natural reaction to adversity will be peace rather than attack." (page 81).

Ultimately though, to make this search for Ahimsa more personal to me, I try to focus the loving kindness towards myself.  Too often we get so caught up in our work, our families, the chores, the needs and wants of others, we forget about ourselves, our own wellbeing. Over the last few years I have been working on finding moments of self-care within my busy days. Five minutes of meditation, five minutes of yoga, ten deep breaths. It stops me from burning out. It keeps my well of energy, inspiration and creativity full so I can serve my clients with 100% of my focus and attention.

I truly believe that if we don’t take care of ourselves, our ability to take care of others diminishes. By looking after myself I am surprised by how much more compassion I have towards those around me.

This journey in self-care and serenity is something I want to share with the world. We all know how important looking after ourselves is but sometimes we're just so busy, so stressed, that we don't know where to start. We don't have time to go to a yoga class, or for a massage. 
So I have created the Serenity Seasons e-course (link: http://massage-movement.co.uk/courses-support/the-serenity-seasons-e-course/) to help you bring serenity and self-care back into your day, moment by moment, season by season. 

To be amongst the first to sign up and get the early bird discount, as well as receive a free 10-minute guided relaxation MP3 immediately and a recording of a talk I am giving entitled "Help! I'm too busy..." on 28th November, then do sign up to my mailing list (link:  http://eepurl.com/gagi9). There's an opportunity to win one of ten Serenity Self-Care packages too! I can't wait to connect with you! 

Rachel Hawes is a yoga teacher and mentor, holistic therapist, stressbuster, serenity seeker and owner of Fusion Studio (linkhttp://massage-movement.co.uk). She is passionate about helping people eliminate stress and anxiety by tapping into their inner energy and joy to find wellbeing, mindfulness and pain-free movement. She has worked with a wide variety of people from stressed-out office workers to new mums, from people recovering from chronic illness to trainee yoga teachers. She has a toolbox of techniques and practices to suit you, at whatever point on your journey you find yourself.

Follow her on Twitter (@Rachel_Fusion), join her on Facebook (http://facebook.com/fusionstudio74) and read the blog (http://massage-movement.co.uk/blog)


  1. This is a lovely reflection. I love that you are striving not just for inaction (the quieting of violence) but are adding action, (loving kindness).

    I also relate to the concept of self care. I was once told that it is best to serve others out of the overflow of energy and joy you get when you correctly care for yourself. That way you can do remarkable things for others, and avoid burning out.

    Thanks for the reflection --- Christopher

  2. I love Rachel, too. Her voice is so soothing. I love listening to any videos/audio files she has on her blog! And I am so stoked about her e-course. It sounds really cool!!! I just advertised it to some clients.


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