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Women, scrutiny and the practice of ahimsa

Yesterday was my birthday. Scrolling through my Facebook, reading the many thoughtful birthday wishes posted, I also came across many articles and comments regarding the performances of JLo and Shakira at the Super Bowl half-time show. Some were quite complementary and others quite scathing.

I found myself thinking that women, particularly of a certain age, don't seem to be able to get it quite right in the public eye. If they don pant suits and sensible heels, woman are seen as matronly, dowdy and not fashionable. If they wear sexy, skimpy or more revealing clothing, they are inappropriate. I found myself wondering why so much judgement?

The first of the five Yamas or restraints in yoga is ahimsa. This is the precept of non-harming/non-violence. Here I to apply it to the practice of thoughts and actions towards yourself and others. Thinking and acting toward others in a positive, compassionate way is the way to our own self-growth and care. Our judgement and comments to others are often a reflection of our own self-doubts and insecurities.

When we post judgmental and unkind comments about other women online we are doing ourselves and other women a disservice. We are contributing to the harming of individual woman and the psyche of women as a whole. I'm guessing that very few of the parties that posted negative comments know either JLo or Shakira personally. Would you make these comments to your friends, to yourself? Please consider practicing ahimsa before you post.

#yoga #kindness #birthday #ahimsa

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