Ahimsa is the first of the Yamas, step one of Patanjali’s 8 limbs of yoga (Ashtanga yoga). It’s meaning – non-violence – can be interpreted in many ways. It can be taken in quite a literal sense – of not acting physically or mentally violent towards others and ourselves, and can also have a wider meaning to society as a whole and perhaps refers to a non-violent approach to conflict between neighbours, politicians, and countries.


For me personally, I take it to mean all of the above and more. I choose to adopt an Ahimsa approach (as best as I can) in all my actions. I interpret Ahimsa to mean non-violence, or in other words compassion, towards all cential beings including animals and insects. In Buddhism, it’s taught to treat to treat all beings as if they are your mother. In other words, showing respect, compassion and love to every being on the planet. Therefore you can adopt an Ahimsa approach, or a compassionate approach, in all your interactions in every day life. Whether it be when dealing with a challenging person or situation at work, or when removing a spider from your kitchen. The wonderful thing about Ahimsa is that there are always opportunities to practice it. So why not give it a try today?