Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term meaning to do no harm (literally: the avoidance of violence – himsa).
Several months ago I purchased a Groupon for one month of unlimited yoga at a new yoga studio near my house. After perusing the website I wasn't entirely sure I was going to like the studio but, hey, for $29 why not?
Last night I activated my free month by going to my first class at the studio. As I suspected, it was a little more new age-y than I like. But, it was the first class I've ever taken where we actually attempted crow pose. I'm not a crow pose prodigy, by the way.
The instructor, Ty, was very nice. I talked to him about my hip issue and he asked me how I felt about him doing any adjustments to my form while in certain poses. The class was small, only four of us plus the instructor, and I feel like I left with a better understanding of poses I thought I was doing right. Specifically downward facing dog and triangle pose. Also, Ty pressed down on my hips during child's pose and it felt amazing.
Things I didn't like? That we actually were supposed to say "Om" out loud, that the shavasana pose seemed to last forever (although, strangely, I liked the part where he used some bowls to play sounds while we were lying there), and that it didn't feel like a hard workout.
Of course, tell that to my shoulders this morning. And, after looking back on it, I think I can see how trying to get better and better at each pose would be a workout in and of itself.
Ty asked us at the beginning, during the breathing exercises, to focus on something we wanted to achieve during our "practice" (aside: I feel so pretentious calling taking a yoga class my "practice") and I decided my goal was to enjoy it and not roll my eyes at any of the woo-woo stuff. Since I left actually learning something I guess we could say I succeeded.