Addiction is a condition characterised by self-sabotage and self harm.  One of the symptoms used to diagnose is persistence in the behaviour despite the adverse impact on life.  This is true if the addiction is drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, social media, cigarettes, food and more.

The Yamas of Yoga teach us to rise above the unconscious behaviour and live in greater harmony with ourselves and the world.  

Ahimsa refers not only to the idea of not harming others, but also to ourselves.  We can harm in our actions, words and thoughts.  

Ahimsa is a powerful guiding concept to help you in recovery.  It gives a basis for reflection on how you treat others, and invites you to change how you interact with the world, to be more compassionate and considerate of others.  I will explore how this affects relationships with others in future posts, but now I want to look at you.

How are you harming yourself?

What negative things are you telling yourself that are causing you pain?  

How do your actions stop you from achieving the peace and happiness that is your birthright as a human being?  

Can you start to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made in the past instead of continuing to beat yourself up over them?  

Can you let go of the resentment you are hanging onto about others, instead of allowing it to eat you up inside?  

Bringing Ahimsa into your life and using it to aid your self reflection can open you up to recognising that you are, indeed, worthy of love and compassion, and that the best place to start looking for it is IN YOU!

Ahimsa (non harming) in recovery

Ahimsa is vital for recovery – please pin this to your recovery board on Pinterest

How can you be kinder to yourself today?

Maybe you could start by expressing gratitude for one thing you have done that feels good?

Perhaps you could treat yourself to a really healthy lunch, or drink more water.

How about an early night to give you the rest you need?

A good way to feel better is to do that one thing you have been putting off.  Do you have some paperwork to finish, a call to make, a room to tidy up? Is there a friend you have been meaning to reach out to?  

What would change if you were to reflect on ‘How have I been kind to myself today?’ every day?  Give it a try, what have you got to lose?



FREE training on self compassion and forgiveness

5 Ways to Cultivate Self Compassion and Forgiveness through Yoga yellow flower on pink book with title "The passion within"

In this free webinar you can discover 5 powerful strategies to cultivate self compassion and forgiveness through Yoga. This is Ahimsa in action. We cannot truly heal without forgiveness and compassion for ourselves. The webinar is completely free, and will provide you with some powerful tools to deepen your recovery

Register your place on the webinar here

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Esther Nagle
Teacher, writer, speaker at Balance and Breathe
Esther is a former alcoholic, smoker and all round stressed out mess. She found the path to health, happiness, freedom and joy through Yoga. She is a passionate advocate for the power of Yoga, and time in Nature, in bringing balance to life, and giving you control over your health, happiness and wellbeing.

Esther is a powerful public speaker, writer and author. Her first book, Bent Back into Shape, Beating Addiction Through Yoga, has gained many 5 star reviews and has helped many people along their recovery journey.

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