May 23, 2013
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How can we practice yoga off the mat? One way is by cultivating and practicing compassionate or non-violent communication, toward ourselves and toward others. Does practicing yoga in our communication sound like a stretch?
As I learned from my teacher, Karl, non-violent communication (NVC) has its roots in ancient yoga philosophy. Marshall Rosenberg drew inspiration from the The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali when he crafted non-violent communication. Ahiṁsā, or non-violence, is the first of the five yamas and the yamas are the first of the eight limbs of yoga (see sutra II.30).
I was recently interviewed by one of my yoga teachers and peers, Erin Goldman of Awakened Heart Yoga, about my studies in NVC and the relationship between yoga and NVC. I invite you to listen to my interview with Erin as I share how practicing NVC is an extension of my yoga practice. I speak of the idea that learning and practicing NVC is “stretching on the inside” and the importance of cultivating deeper listening to ourselves and others.
I was struck, in listening to myself speak, how much knowledge and wisdom I’ve absorbed and integrated from my teachers of yoga and non-violent communication. I can hear their voices in my voice!
To read Erin’s introduction and listen, click here: interview
To only listen, click here: interview
“Compassionate action is a practice, one of the most advanced. There’s nothing more advanced than communication—compassionate communication.”~ Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart
“Since in order to speak,
one must first listen,
learn to speak by listening.”