Ahimsa is the first precept in Yoga philosophy. It means non-violence or non-harming. This includes harming oneself. It refers not only to physical harming, but also to harming words and even thoughts. Practicing ahimsa takes a constant vigilance of our thoughts and actions with ourself and others, noticing our actions, thoughts and intentions.
It is this principle of non-harming that fuels my desire to treat my body differently. To eat with attention food that nourishes and fosters health. To move and do the things that bring strength and well-being to my physical being and to my mind. To become the person I desire to be by doing the things I see that person doing. Living in a way that is non-harming to myself and others.
I’ve been way-laid by half-hearted efforts in this area. When I make a half-hearted effort, I know deep inside that I haven’t done my best and the stain of this incomplete action niggles at me. It lingers and becomes one more thing for me to criticize about myself, it becomes ammunition and sadness and regret. It causes a general sense of urgency, the burden of things left undone. I drag this around behind me until I am miserable and notice what is happening. That is what is going on with my intentions towards my health. It has suddenly become imperative to me to stop resisting change and to make the whole-hearted effort that takes half the effort and is twice the fun! The exhilaration of whole-hearted commitment in a direction is energizing. I feel strengthened in my intention to be healthy and strong.