Yamas and Niyamas : Ahimsa + Satya | By Hali Love

Today the word “healing” is plastered on many advertisements for a variety of corporations. I have seen it used in on marketing campaigns from fight nights to facial injections, and it’s an especially popular adjective used to market many yoga-based trainings and events.

But what does “healing” truly mean?

Some report that it means be happy all (or most) of the time. It seems like any other emotion other than happiness is shoved aside with a hearty laugh and a waving hand and words of “oh it doesn’t matter, smile and just be happy.” Perhaps suitable for some situations, but certainly not for all. If this was the case, what happens to the other natural human emotion of anger? Does it mean to be strong enough to avoid, mask or stuff down anger? And what about the other natural emotions of grief, discontentment and fear?

Lean in

Ignore and stuff … just be happy … the issue with this for most yogis (I hope!) is the direct contradiction with yoga philosophy. Specifically with the very first two principals of yoga: Ahimsa, which translates to kindness, and Sayta, which translates to truthfulness.

For me, healing is another word to describe “leaning into” — leaning into a certain situation or emotion; or even thoughts or judgments. I heard these words from a dear friend years ago — back then, I did not quite understand the meaning, however now, I do. Leaning in can be a form of actionable Ahimsa and Satya; by being kind enough to yourself to allow the full experience of any given situation, emotion or thought, and being truthful with yourself as to where you want to navigate once the full experience has taken place.

I fully understood the meaning of healing though “leaning in” with Ahimsa and Satya when I decided to make some major life choices, including leaving my marriage. And I truly believe that leaning in must occur when making any decision regarding relationships, emotional and physical health, addiction, and career choices. For if we truly are not content with something, with anything, we have the choice to lean into it and really go deep into inquiry, and with that the intent is the possibility for accountability. This can enable the true feeling of freedom and an anchored decision, no matter what it may be.

Everything along our path serves a purpose

It is with this freedom that then, and only then, that we can walk the path of healing with not only both feet on the ground, but with our heart grounded in pure intention and action. Can you teach “healing” without having healed? That is a controversial question; I am faced with an inner conversation of duality in my pondering the answer — or better to say, answers …

When I was in my 20s, I thought I had all the answers regarding healing; having completed then thousands of hours of not only yoga trainings, but also post secondary education in emotional healing and psychology. I had years of life experience, at which time I thought was very “traumatic.” I thought I could be a guide for anyone through any thing. And my vehicle of choice was Yoga.

I thought I created a well-blended combination of the Yamas and Niyamas paired with emotional coaching and cognitive examination. I was living my dream, which was to host yoga trainings, and then my at-the-time husband wanted to join.

I bow to those on their healing journey

Soon the healing tools I was teaching became part of the detrimental pattern of relationship breakdown — they tools became part of MY detrimental patter of how I viewed myself. Things fell apart — or now I see that things were actually coming together.

Throughout it all, I kept teaching. In hindsight, I see now that I taught to what I knew … as I only knew what I knew. In hindsight, something was missing. Back then I viewed Ahimsa to be kind to others and to please others and conform to who and what they thought I should be. I thought Satya was to be bold in my expression. This led to regretful decisions, and tainted my connection — my yoga.

Yoga, and more specifically, union and connection, remain my current life objective, but there’s more: I feel it is my purpose in life to be a guide. People appear through word of mouth or an Internet search, and they all are seeking healing. Real, get down and dirty healing, but from a place of compassion, experience and love.

We are all teachers

Through my now 40 years of life experience, and having further trainings in my field, and a full-time job as an emotional healing facilitator; I am humbled … I am humbled. I bow to all teachers of all forms from all background, of all ages and from all experiences. We are all teachers. We are ALL teachers. Teaching something —some thing. We are teaching from our learnings, from our experiences and hopefully from the things we are not so proud of.

I bow to those on their healing journey, and I bow to those who believe they are righteous along their path. Everything along our path serves a purpose. Every thing. We can choose to lean in and see the purpose, or we can choose to stuff, avoid and fight our way through. For me, the choice is easy; now the choice is easy. Before I wanted to be right. I wanted to defend. Now I choose to be anchored, with not only my two feet on the ground, but with my heart grounded in pure intention and action. Intention to unite and connect, and to embody the action of healing through yoga, asana, discovery, inquiry, discussion, truth and connection. Be blessed.

And for the next few months, lean into life with the practice of Ahimsa (kindess) and Satya (truthfulness), and I promise you will gracefully guide yourself through anything. If I can do it, so can you. The remainder of the yoga principles will be continued in the next issue (stay tuned!). Get the tools and tidbits from yoga tradition to help evolve your healing and your practices to grow your person into the most powerful version of yourself.  Be your OWN Rock and ROCK YOUR WORLD. You are good enough. You are worthy, and you are beautiful.


Wishing for a world of true community and connection, endless organic almond milk lattes and perfectly ripe avocados, Hali Love is a yoga teacher, coach and author. Her purpose and passion is to inspire lasting healing for people who are truly ready for change, through natural health ideologies, yoga, meditation, fitness classes and life coaching. Having recently entered her fabulous forties, this Canadian turned Costa Rican yogi is busy not only being a proud mama to her beautiful 9 year old daughter Bili Be, but  is also managing her booming retreat center and studio in Costa Rica: Playa Negra Yoga & Barre. From sipping chardonnay at sunset, to burpees on the beach, to facilitating YTTs and managing her online programs, you will find this gal living, and loving her most authentic life. View more at halilove.com / playanegrayoga.com / multistyleyoga.com 




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