The word ahimsa in its simplest terms means nonviolence in Sanskrit. When I was going through yoga teacher training in 2012, I fell in love with the description of ahimsa in Patanjali’s sutras, or threads of teaching. Patanjali is one of the granddaddies of yoga and he wrote many of the basics of yoga at least 1,700 years ago.
Many times, yogis are asked to have a mantra – something to repeat during times of indecision, relaxation, or meditation. It’s a word or phrase that resonates with you and is meant to be calming and helpful. Ahimsa is that word for me. When I read the explanation the first time, I was hooked. Here’s a piece of the definition I liked most: