Yoga comes to us from the Vedic period of ancient Indian history. Violent times marked the class of cultures with social unrest. There were wars of conquest and mass migrations. Unlike in other parts of the world, where the differences between the conquerors and the conquered gradually disappeared over time, in India they solidified in the form of divisions between the castes
The development of yoga was one response to the events of these times. The ancient yogis, through experimentations on their bodies and minds reached certain discoveries. They became aware that the trees, the mountains, the oceans and rivers, animals and birds and human beings are all inter-related in an intelligent and mysterious way. They became aware that there is an organic wholeness of life and that there is an intelligent harmony that permeates the whole cosmos.
From these discoveries came the development of the eight limbs of yoga and the practice of Ahimsa or non violence. Ahimsa leads the list of the Yamas, the first limb of the eight limbs of yoga. Ahimsa is not injuring any living creature, any time under any circumstances. This includes avoiding violence in the form of harsh words, or causing fear in others. Harmony is the essence of Ahimsa. Yogis believe that when you become sensitive to the wholeness of life, to the interrelatedness of everything then you want to live in harmony with humans, animals and nature. When one practices Ahimsa there is no reflex to use violence as an escape from fear.
At the start of this beautiful summer season it is our hope that you are able to step away from the routine and spend time in contact with nature. We hope that you enjoy this period of recreation, rest and reflection, and that you are able to return with a sense of peace and non violence so important in a world where fear can so easily motivate our decisions.