Yoga in Crow: Ahimsa

It has now been over a week since we premiered in Reading and time has given us all a chance to reflect. For words to sift and ideas settle.

“Where we are is where we are” And where do we go from here?

When first reading the script 8 months ago I couldn’t put my finger on what it was I felt compelled by. “You just can’t put it in a box” Jennifer would tell me, as we tentatively tried to convey what Crow IS in publicity material. Getting word out there in a tweet limited to 140 characters was certainly a challenge! Having seen it all come together, I know now that you wouldn’t want to ever box Crow. And I am closer to understanding why initially this piece drew me in. It is a question of responsibility; our relationship with all that surrounds us and a level of acceptance that we know so very little about what actually IS.

Perhaps, what we should be asking is how?

How do we forgive, nurture and sustain?

The essence of Crow  reminded me of an aspect of Yoga teachings that I’ve often thought about: Ahimsa. It is one of the 5 Yamas (moral goals), that when bought together become one of the main 8 limbs of Yoga. It helps us reflect on how we lash out at one another. How we treat the space around us. How our lifestyles as human beings have proven to be so immensely destructive to our environment.

What is Ahimsa?  Non-harming. Non-violence.

I let Ahimsa be the theme of the classes I was teaching that week; through movement, breath and meditation we would find a connection with ourselves and the environment around us.


“As you lie on the ground in Savasana, feel no boundaries between you and the space around you. Let your body sink beyond the surface of the earth and meet the roots below.”

I had already started to connect two sides of myself. My identity as Yoga teacher and as Project Manager for Crow were no longer compartmentalised areas of my life. They were naturally and organically bound in the energy of one another and the whole week was unexpectedly peaceful. Perhaps because I had made further peace with who I was during this process.

It was liberating to watch these two halves join. Like finding a beautiful stone and not knowing quite where to put it. Then realising with a little chisel and string it could be made into a necklace; discovery and skill weaving one another. I could finally turn around and say “You both belong here- I’ll bring you together and make you into something stronger.”

I think Crow bought that out in us all and will continue to do so.

And just while writing this I’ve just made another kind of connection. The role of our flowers linked to the offering of flowers to the sacred water of the River Ganga during Pooja ceremonies. Both a gesture of honour and hope. Both a reminder that peace with ourselves comes hand in hand with the peace we make with who and what surrounds us…

Forgive, nurture and sustain.

Alice's pics 815




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