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Self-Compassion as a Practice of Ahimsa: Yoga Teacher Training Diaries

When Jane - a Yoga Teacher Trainee with The Mindful Yoga School (now graduate!) was asked to submit a paper on Ahimsa for the Yoga Teacher Training 200hr program, she wrote about 'minding my own business' as a practice of Self-Compassion.

Her message is one that I know will deeply resonate, because Compassion can easily slip into attachment IF we are motivated by wanting to fix or change something or someone. When attachment creeps in, we can find ourselves consumed with 'other peoples' business', and expecting a result. It can easily lead to resentment, disappointment and dependent (and toxic!) relationships.

Thank you Jane for sharing this piece with us - see below for the full article.

Big love,

Erin Lee
Founder, The Mindful Yoga School

The first Yama translates from Sanskrit as non-violence, but I prefer the meaning of Compassion.

I’d like to talk about Compassion for Self.

It’s only recently that I can see the full merit in questioning whose business I’m in in life. My business, someone else’s business, or Gods business... 

So much stress comes from mentally living out of just my own business, let alone everyone else's!

Being a peacekeeper, a mother, and wife that can fix all things, it has been a tough lesson for me. I have never wanted my loved ones to go through difficult times or to struggle. I want to solve all dramas quickly and for everyone get back to a state of happiness.

It’s taken me a long time to realise that everyone is responsible for their own life.

Me solving all problems for so long had left me running on empty, and the more I did the more everyone expected. 

Being in someone else’s business is stressful because at a basic level I am disrespecting the other person. I’m looking down on them. I’m thinking I know better, and I’m trying to control them. I am almost willing to use force to change them, because I’m running a story that they are not willing/capable of changing. 

Also by being mentally in others business it keeps me from being present in my own business.

When I’m thinking, 'You need to get a car, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to choose better friends...' I am in your business.

When I’m worried about floods, cyclones, wars, or when I’m going to die that’s Gods business.

Therefore, I've came to the conclusion that my duty of compassion to myself is remain calm, stay in my own business, and let everyone around me solve what corresponds to them. 

Once I fully realised it’s not my problem and I am not responsible for the actions of anyone else it has been a game changer in my life!

It has taken so much pressure off me.

It is also not my job to provide happiness for those around me,
but I am responsible for the reactions I express to that.

My job is to encourage, love and support so that everyone can find their own happiness.

Ultimately all I can control is the way I respond myself. Everyone else has all the necessary resources to solve their own problems despite how hard they may be. 

We are not here on earth to be everything to everyone. 

On the mat, I have also found it so beneficial to remember whose business I’m in as well.

Worrying about whether the person I came with is having a good time, or wondering why I’m not as flexible as the girl over in the corner is robbing me of the present moment and causing me suffering.

It’s sending me down a story of lack which just doesn’t serve me. 

I've benefited so much from this practice of Self-Compassion, through letting go of the need to be perfect or to be seen as perfect, and to release control over everything and everyone else in my life. 



Find out more about immersing deeper into yoga through the Yoga Teacher Training 200hr program here >


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