'LOVE' By BeWell


The beauty of Yoga is that, once understood, it can bring you that fuzzy magical feeling of curiosity and wonder in the simplicity of your everyday life.


Yoga evolved and developed over much time. The Western world ever-consumed by commercialisation, money-making and power got its grip on Yoga a little over 100 years ago.


Over the last 100 years, Yoga has evolved from a deep, mystical and energetic understanding, to a slot in the local Gym timetable.


How have we let this happen?! Here at BeWell Yoga, we simply cannot let such a rich, traditional understanding of our most ancient science become a weekly 'sweat' exercise.


Allow us to take you  back in time. Let us guide you on a deep exploration of the classic Yoga. As it was then. As it still is now. Bathed in the mystics and presented with the care, love and energy it truly deserves.

time to GO DEEPER


In this section we will explore what mantras are, where the idea of mantras comes from, and how you can use mantra in your daily life to bring ahimsa (love) in every aspect of your day-to-day.


What are mantras and why use them?

Nowadays a ‘Mantra’ is understood lightly as a word or phrase repeated during meditation or daily tasks. The goal? To create a favorable outcome for the practitioner. Sometimes ill-informed and sometimes vulnerable, we chant OOOMMM hoping to block out that negative thought or situation that's been nagging us lately. This, unfortunately can only work as effectively as a stab in the dark... To truly understand and appreciate the practise of Mantra, we must re-inject our understanding of the ‘Mantra’ with the spiritual potency it deserves. ‘Man’ comes from the ancient language of Sanskrit. ‘Man’ in Sanskrit means ‘the mind’ or ‘to think’. ‘Tra’ is understood in Sanskrit as ‘instrument’. So, together, ‘Manta’ can be understood as ‘a mind instrument’. Understanding this, we might ask ourselves, what can a mind instrument or ‘Mantra’ be useful for? The answer is simple. We use Mantra or the ‘mind instrument’ to silence the disturbances of the mind. In essence, to silence 'Vikalpa'. 'Vikalpa' refers to our thinking process rooted in imagination, fantasy and illusion with which we build stories. Stories reflecting our past memories. Imagined scenarios projected into our potential future. Vikalpa can be a major source of suffering for many of us in today's modern society. In many cases we laser focus on potential unfavorable outcomes in our future. This floods us with dread, fear and anxiety. So much so, that we cannot enjoy the sweetness of the present moment. Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodha - ‘Yoga is the silencing of the disturbances of the mind’. We use Mantra as a mind instrument to silence the disturbances of the mind.

Silencing the Mind vs transcending the activity of the mind

It's important here not to become confused. We are intelligent beings. We need not look to 'block out' our intelligent thoughts. Nor should we become upset or frustrated when we are using a mantra to focus the mind yet thoughts of all nature fill our mind’s eye. The Mantra is the tool. It is the anchor. The mantra helps us to re-focus the mind when we become lost in thought. Lost to the extent that we are ‘involved’ in the thought process and riding the roller coaster of the emotions linked to that thought. We simply use the Mantra to draw us back to the present and transcend the activity of the mind.


It is said that Mantras are charged with psycho spiritual power. Mantras, repeated out loud, create sound. Within sound is vibration. Vibration can change or rearrange one’s molecular structure. There is evidence to suggest that the repetition of some Mantra, specifically that with vibration, can stimulate the pituitary gland. This happens as the tongue is stimulated by means of the Mantra repetition.

Courage, confidence, and positive energy

It is said that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Shockingly, up to 80% of these thoughts are said to be negative. Of course, negative is relative and depends on one’s perspective. More interestingly, it has been found that 95% of our thoughts are the exact same thoughts as the day before. This is an alarming piece of information to consider. Specifically if we are not paying attention to our thought process or thought 'hygiene'. Would you willingly spend the day with someone who spoke about negative things for 80% of the day? If you had a loved one who focused for 80% of their day on negative things, would you advise them to make a change? Seek help? With that in mind, what are you actively doing to cultivate your thought process? What are you actively doing to monitor and curate your thoughts so that your mind is a pleasant place to be? Knowing that you don’t have to leave that to chance, and knowing that there are simple tools to train the mind to become both a great machine for living in the modern day yet a mostly pleasant place to be, are you ready to begin taking care of your mind? Are you ready to train your mind to have less ‘Vikalpa’ time and more ‘present moment’ time? That is what we can achieve by the power of working with Mantra. To understand what LOVE or AHIMSA mantra might best suit you for this process, it’s time to take a deeper look at what is 'Ahimsa' with our Reading and Self Discovery Exercise below


Organise your home practise space

Set the mood by lighting a candle /insense/sage/playing claming music (Optional)

Sit in a comfortable seated position

Tall spine

Relaxed Shoulders

Relaxed Belly

Space between ears and shoulders

Set a 10-15 min timer (bells/bowls chiming every 5 mins on youtube works well here)

Repeat your mantra slowly either out loud or in your mind 

Repeat with care and control

Use the breath to guide the mantra's words

Ahimsa - a life practice

In this section you will learn how to cultivate ahimsa both on and off the mat to improve your relationship with yourself, your body, and the world around you.

The yamas and ahimsa

Understanding Ahimsa in the context of the yamas

The Yamas are an ancient set of yogic ehtics or principles that provide yogis with a set of moral imperatives on how to live thier lives. Ahimsa is the first of the Yamas, and it is important for us to recognize that ahimsa comes first because it is the foundation and primary reference point for the understanding and application of the other Yamas and Niyamas. As we learn about and begin to implement these yogic principles into our lives, it is imperative that we remember that all of our interpretations of the principles must also be aligned with ahimsa.
The meaning of the word ahimsa translates into “non-harm” or “non-violence.” In Sanskrit, himsa means ‘hurt’, and the prefix ‘a’ means to not do something. Thus ahimsa means to not inflict hurt, refraining from thoughts and actions that bring harm or violence. Many yogis also take ahimsa to mean acting with love and compassion, in order to not bring harm to others or to the self.

Being kind to oneself

It is important here to point out that ahimsa, as with the other Yamas and Niyamas, begins with the self. Afterall, the way we treat ourselves becomes the way we treat others. Research by psychologist Dr. Kristen Neff demonstrates that people who treat themselves with compassion not only have a greater psychological well-being, but they are also more likely to have better relationships with others. “If you are a taskmaster with yourself, others will feel your whip.” -Deborah Adele When we are highly self-critical, demanding, or set unreasonable expectations for ourselves, this can easily carry over to what we expect of others. In the very least, others are affected by being a witness to this relationship with ourselves, perhaps imagining that we also expect the same from them or that they ought to view themselves in a similar light. However, when we are kind, caring, and forgiving of ourselves, others can feel safe in our presence and learn to be compassionate towards themselves as well.

Ahimsa in all aspects of life

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character.” -Lao Tzu Practicing non-violence, or ahimsa, carries over into all aspects of our lives. While it certainly means not physically harming ourselves, those around us, or our environment—it extends far beyond the physical into the realm of our words and thoughts. If our inner world consists of speech that hones in on our perceived failures, criticizes everything we do, and constantly pushes us to be “better” or do “more”, we are inflicting violence upon ourselves, subtle as it may seem. Guilt, shame, and disappointment in ourselves contain elements of violence. Viewing ourselves from the perspective that we must always be changing because we aren’t yet good enough can be a harmful perspective. While this perfection-minded mentality may lead us to do everything that appears healthy on the outside: eating well, engaging in regular exercise, drinking lots of water, or taking supplements—if our thoughts are unforgiving and demanding, we are not completely practicing compassion towards ourselves. As Lao Tzu reminds us, the things we think about turn into the words we speak to ourselves and others, which then turn into the way we act outwardly, ultimately forming habits and a personal character that become our very existence. From an anatomical perspective, violent and negative thoughts lead to emotions which then instigate chemical reactions in the body. The hormones cortisol and adrenaline are released, activating the ‘fight or flight response’ which over time leads to increased anxiety and potentially hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances, particularly when the thought patterns become habitual. (ref) [1] Furthermore, this weakens the immune system, increasing our vulnerability to pain or illness. Those who experience high levels of adrenaline and cortisol over time can develop chronic issues like insomnia, anxiety, depression, poor concentration, and exhaustion. It is not necessarily the individual negative thoughts that enter the brain which lead to these harmful side effects, but the choosing to fixate on those thoughts and allowing them to repeat over and over.

Writing exercise #1

Take a few moments to consider your relationship with yourself.

Q. Are you kind to yourself? Or are you sometimes self-critical, demanding, or guilty of setting unreasonable expectations for yourself.
Write down anything that may be self critical, demanding or unreasonable in your life at the moment. If you feel comfortable, discuss the list with a loved one. Think of ways you can use this list to become kinder to yourself and less self critical Choose a Mantra that might help you achieve this mindset.

Being kind to others

Maintaining ahimsa in our thoughts also refers to the thoughts we direct towards others. Judgement, assuming you know better, annoyance, resentment, and jealousy often prevent us from acting with compassion towards others and ultimately make us feel bad as well. In the same way that expecting too much of ourselves or blaming ourselves for everything that goes wrong is subtle violence, so is placing burdensome expectations on others or assuming they should act according to our ideas and wishes. For some of us, frustration with ourselves or an inability to ‘fix’ ourselves turns our focus to others, putting our energy into fixing them. While helping others and treating them with compassion is ahimsa, there are ways that we may slip into enacting subtle violence towards the people we love, work with, or attempt to help. For example, when others come to us and our response is to try and fix them, feel sorry for them, or tell them what they should do, even when we are suggesting seemingly “positive” things, can be a small act of violence. The assumption that we know what others should do or that we know what is best for them is not an attitude that is cultivating ahimsa. “Nonviolence asks us to trust the other’s journey and love and support others to their highest image of themselves, not our highest image of them. It asks that we stop managing ourselves, our experiences, others, and others’ experiences of us. Leave the other person free of our needs, free to be themselves, and free to see us as they choose.” -Deborah Adele We cannot save people and we do not need to fix them. There is a difference between aiming to help someone and aiming to support them. Trying to “help” may suggest that we think of ourselves in a higher or better position than the other, whereas “supporting” someone comes from a place of compassion because it implies trust in the other person’s journey and meeting them where they are at, serving them in a way that is in line with their needs.

Writing exercise #2

Take a few moments to consider your relationship with other people Q. Are you kind to others? Or are you sometimes critical, demanding, or guilty of setting unreasonable expectations for others? Write down anything that may be critical, demanding, unreasonable or 'fixing' the other person . If you feel comfortable, discuss the list with a loved one. Think of ways you can use this list to become kinder to others and yourself in the process. Write down a commitment to yourself and others. Choose a Mantra that might help you achieve this mindset.


In this section you will learn about the Yamas, an ancient yogic principle that when put into practice can bring about huge changes in our daily life.  

Cultivating Ahimsa in daily life

Ahimsa in your yoga practice

The same goes for our own practice on the mat, in meditation, and as teacher trainees or new teachers. Nonviolence in our asana practice means not physically harming our bodies by pushing too hard to force flexibility or pushing into postures when parts of our body communicates that it is too far. Forcing the hips down in Eka Pada Kapotasana (half pigeon) despite feeling a sharp pain in any part of the hip is going over our edge and therefore bringing violence to our bodies. Of course we must challenge ourselves and try new things in order to grow in our practice, but it is equally important to practice compassion by learning to recognize the difference between challenging our muscles or joints and pushing them into pain. Additionally, many of us experience varying degrees of injury or limitation at one point or another. It is normal to feel frustration or anger as a response to an injury—ahimsa can be one of the anecdotes for the frustration and for the injury. If we treat our body with compassion, and cease to hold onto what we cannot currently do, our body can work with us and potentially heal more quickly. Negative thoughts and energy directed at our injured shoulder, or injured knees, or wrist sensitivity only exacerbates the problem. If cultivating a meditation practice is new for you, you may begin to notice that the mind will wander. Ahimsa in our meditation practice inspires us to observe the wandering of the mind with compassion. Rather than judging the mind for ruminating, see if you can react to its tendencies with kindness and patience, gently releasing the thoughts and coming back to the breath. Observing the thoughts with compassion allows us to address the mind in a way that is more effective than pushing away or suppressing our thoughts. Making peace with the mind we experience in meditation, we can transform the relationship and are likely to observe it shifting on its own.

Writing exercise #3

Take a few moments to consider your relationship with your body and Yoga Q. Are you kind to your body within your yoga practise? Or are you sometimes critical, demanding, or guilty of setting unreasonable expectations for your body? Do you use Yoga as a tool to achieve impressive flexibility or fitness? Think of ways you can use this list to become kinder to your body in your Yoga practise and to yourself in your Meditation practise. Write down a commitment to yourself. Choose a Mantra that might help you achieve this mindset.

Putting Ahimsa into practice

This week, begin to take notice of the ways you can implement the principle of ahimsa into your life. Perhaps this involves making changes to outward actions such as shifts in your diet by consuming food that is ethically produced. Or maybe this means slowly beginning to rewire a tendency to expect too much of yourself or berate your mind and body for how they act or feel. When negative feelings or thoughts arrive, allow them to breathe and respond to them with kindness, before releasing them and freeing yourself from their grip. Let go of expectations about what you should do as a yogi, a teacher, a friend, a child, a parent, a colleague, or any other role that you fill. Accept yourself completely as you are, and increase your acceptance of others (and their actions!), so that you may respond to them without subtle or even not-so-subtle violence. Allow yourself to take the time you need to work through your training, gain your skills, and grow in your practice without clinging to the need to scold yourself or “crack the whip”. Start by addressing yourself with a spirit of compassion, and this will carry over into all aspects of your life and your relationships with others.

Further reading



Repeat this Mantra out loud.

Good for those feeling Stuck & Sluggish

Ichoose love for myself
I choose love for others

Repeat this Mantra 

softly out loud or in your mind carefully following the breath. 


Repeat this Mantra 

softly out loud or in your mind carefully following the breath

I am enough
I have enough

Repeat this Mantra 

softly out loud or in your mind carefully following the breath

I am full
I am safe
I am love

Repeat this Mantra 

softly out loud or in your mind carefully following the breath

I am loving
I am loved

Repeat this Mantra 

softly out loud or in your mind carefully following the breath

I embody love
I embody compassion

Repeat this Mantra 

softly out loud or in your mind carefully following the breath

I open my heart
I let go 
I forgive

Repeat this Mantra 

softly out loud or in your mind carefully following the breath


Repeat this Mantra 

softly out loud or in your mind carefully following the breath

Spend 30 mins to reflect privately and

answer the following questions in your journal


1. How can we incorporate Ahimsa in our personal Asana practise?

2. How can we incorporate Ahimsa in our Diet? (remember diet does not only refer to food)

3. How can we incorporate Ahimsa in our thoughts?

4. How can we incorporate Ahimsa in our Yoga practise?

5. How can we inspire ourselves to take  Ahimsa off the mat?

daily 15 min yin heart opener

Heart Opening

Vinyasa Flow


time to GO DEEPER

The groundwork is complete.

The self discovery and introspection has taken place.

Now it's time to take your first step on the Yogic Path of the Yamas.

The Path of Love - Ahimsa

We have developed a series of short Daily exercises and tasks that will begin to help you integrate this Yama into your life.

By following our 7 day program you will begin to take the concept of Love Ahimsa and begin to live the concept both on and off the mat.

DAY 1 

Day 1 is all about You and your relationship with yourself.

Sometime in the morning complete:



Time of Meditation:



Sometime in the evening complete:

15 min Yin heart opener


Time of Yin:



Remember - You have a choice what you mind reflects on. Make your mind a loving place to be.

Take a few moments to consider your relationship with yourself.

Q.  Are you kind to yourself?

Q.  Are you self-critical?

Q. Are you demanding?

Q. Are you guilty of setting unreasonable expectations for yourself?


Privately in your journal, write down anything that surfaces which may be unkind, self critical, demanding or unreasonable in your relationship with yourself.


List 2 - THE 'LOVE' LIST

Now, write down a list of things you love about yourself.

Read your GOODBYE list

Notice how you feel when you read through