AHIMSA Non-violence

Ahimsa – the first Yama – translates to “non-violence” or “non-harming” (‘himsa’ = hurt, and the prefix ‘a’ = not). It advocates the avoidance of harm or violence towards all living beings, in both thought and action. Ahimsa is a key ethical and spiritual concept, guiding you to cultivate compassion, kindness, love and understanding in all aspects of your life. Practicing Ahimsa means refraining from physically harming others, ourselves, or nature, abstaining from negative thoughts, and ensuring that our actions are in harmony rather than causing harm. Integrating ahimsa into daily life can contribute to a life of peace, personal growth, well-being, and fulfillment.

In the presence of one firmly established in non-violence, all hostilities cease.


This Yoga sutra implies that those who do not cause harm emit ‘harmonious vibrations’, encouraging others to live peacefully too. Gandhi exemplified Ahimsa in his live, showcasing the transformative power of practicing Yoga in all aspects of our being.

Our thoughts significantly impact our well-being. Negative thoughts trigger the fight or flight response, releasing cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’) in to the body, which weakens the immune system and increases susceptibility to illness and physical pain. Conversely, non-violent, loving thoughts stimulate the release of dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical, strengthening the immune system and potentially aiding in healing. Studies have shown that optimists exhibit stronger immune systems, recover quicker from illness, and live longer than pessimists. Furthermore, happiness is contagious; when others around us are happy, our likelihood of experiencing happiness increases as well.

Practical ways to practice Ahimsa

  • Be mindful of your thoughts: Redirect negative thoughts towards positivity and compassion, fostering inner harmony and contributing to a more peaceful world.
  • Self-compassion & self-love: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you extend to others. Be gentle with your inner voice, replacing self-criticism with self-compassion. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses without judgment. Forgiving mistakes and learning from them is essential. Remember, self-love is the foundation for loving others fully.
  • Evaluate your lifestyle choices: Assess whether your daily habits contribute positively to your well-being or cause you harm. See what you can do to create a life that fills you up rather than wears you down. Prioritize activities that restore and rejuvenate your physical and emotional health, including sufficient sleep and regular exercise for sustained success.
  • Set boundaries to guard against overwhelm by mastering the art of saying no and prioritizing tasks effectively. Strive for a balanced life that includes ample time for rest and relaxation to prevent burnout.
  • Mindful communication: Think before you speak or send messages. Speak kindly and truthfully, using words that uplift and encourage others. Avoid gossip, harsh language, and verbal aggression.
  • Mindful leadership: Empower others to excel and celebrate their achievements, nurturing a culture of growth and collaboration. Consider the diverse needs and perspectives of your team, colleagues, and stakeholders. Treat everyone with kindness, compassion, and respect, regardless of differences. Conscious leaders recognize the value of diverse perspectives and actively work to create an inclusive and supportive environment where everyone feels valued and heard. This creates a more inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, allowing everyone to thrive. It cultivates a sense of belonging and psychological safety, thereby fostering collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
  • Mental health: Conscious leaders deeply value the physical, emotional, and mental health of their team members, recognizing that a healthy workforce is essential for long-term success and resilience in the face of challenges.
  • Ethical decision-making: Give significant weight to non-harming and ethical considerations when making decisions, thoroughly evaluating their impact on all stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, and the environment. By placing ethical values at the forefront, leaders can make conscientious and sustainable decisions that benefit the greater good.
  • Sustainability & regeneration: Lead by example in reducing your ecological footprint by conserving resources, reducing waste, recycling, and supporting sustainable and regenerative business practices. Choose products and services from companies that place a high value on environmental and social responsibility. Consider adopting a plant-based diet or reducing consumption of animal products to minimize harm to animals and promote environmental sustainability.
  • Healthy conflict resolution: Approach conflicts with a solution-oriented mindset, seeking constructive resolutions that honor all perspectives. By understanding others’ viewpoints and finding common ground, you mitigate escalation and foster harmony.
  • Embrace mindfulness & meditation: Cultivate awareness, compassion, and emotional regulation through meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness practices. By nurturing your inner landscape, you lay the groundwork for sustained high performance and success.
  • Cultivate a mindset of gratitude, acknowledging the abundance in your life and appreciating the contributions of others. Expressing gratitude nurtures positive relationships and cultivates a supportive community.
  • Volunteer and give back to society: Contribute your time, skills, and resources to initiatives promoting peace, social justice, and well-being for all. By giving back to your community, you reinforce the interconnectedness of all beings and contribute to a more compassionate world. Leverage your influence to create meaningful social impact and promote positive change.

By embracing Ahimsa into your daily life, you create a ripple effect of positivity. You’ll be better equipped to manage stress, build stronger relationships, and confront challenges with clarity and focus. This foundation of well-being serves as a cornerstone for achieving your goals and unlocking your full potential as a conscious leader and entrepreneur. It supports you in creating a more conscious and inclusive business ecosystem, benefiting both individuals and the broader community.

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.