Updated: Apr 22, 2020
I began a 200-hour yoga teacher training as a part of my spiritual journey this year and will be reflecting upon some of the things that I am learning right here in “Words of Truth”. Within my reflection, I will share my thoughts as to how a yoga lifestyle ties into Reiki healing and will continue to share my experiences as I transition through my own self-healing.
Ahimsa is the first of the five yamas. Yamas are a part of the eight limbs of yoga and provides guidelines on restraints. This particular yama reminds me of the five principles of Reiki (also known as ideals, precepts, or the five admonitions in question):
1. Don’t get angry
2. Don’t be grievous
3. Express thanks
4. Be diligent in your business
5. Be kind to others
Usui Sensei, the founder of the Usui Method of Reiki Healing, insisted that these principles are the key to good fortune as well as the miraculous medicine for all disease. As I study and practice yoga, I am finding both yoga and Reiki to be in alignment with one another to the degree that they compliment each other.
By being angry, that not only causes harm to others, but to the self as well. However, because we are all human and therefore prone to human error it is not unlikely to experience anger. In this case, I think that it is important to be mindful in recognizing when anger arises and allow ourselves to feel in order to attain a greater understanding of why we are angry. Once we do so, the root of the anger becomes clear and as a result it becomes easier to not only let go of anger, but to learn from it as well. In this way, our anger becomes a catalyst for growth and this becomes non-harming, whereas holding on to anger can cause only harm. There is a Buddhist proverb that state, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
Holding on to grief, sorrow, and/or worry can cause similar effects of holding onto anger and in some cases can even stir up anger. This is why it is, again, important to let go in order to minimize the harmful effects.
Expressing thanks counterbalances anger and worry and is very non-harming. Gratitude is always a beneficial aspect to practice daily. When thanks is expressed others feel appreciated and, like a mirror, result in happiness for others and for self.
Being diligent is also a key component to a non-harming practice. To be diligent in business (or service) means to be attentive and careful, otherwise carelessness arises. Being lazy or negligent causes harm to others as well as to self, just as anger and worry would. Therefore, it is important to practice with diligence in order to cultivate good, non-harming habits.
The last of the principles, be kind to others, also applies to self. “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.” - The Yoga Sutras of Pantajali.