Yoga Sutra 2.35
Ahimsa Pratisthayam Tat Samnidhau Vaira Tyagah.
"When nonviolence is established, all beings lose their violent capacity."
It is not causing pain in thought, word, or deed to yourself or others. Avoiding comparison or competition to others, avoiding gossip and negative self-talk. It is not "no pain, no gain" in regards to asana practice. By cultivating respect for your body, Ahimsa honors you and others.
Here's an admission: I find this especially challenging for me at times. I'm a competitive Pitta (fire and water- too much fire!) person by nature. To find balance for me requires discipline- sometimes more than I have. But I've found, the more I practice (on and off the mat) for the sake of self-discipline and pure joy, I do become more balanced, more Kapha (earth and water).
Today is Andrew's 4th birthday. He's a strong Pitta thus far- and makes an adorable pirate. After a morning of Lego pirate-ship building, the boys are off to school, and I'm headed to teach my 3 back to back classes. I read recently an article that claims when we become Yoga teachers it "hinders our living out Yoga." (Something about building our own ego...yeah, If I'm honest, that's somewhat true... however...) I've found that teaching Yoga has driven me to a hunger for knowledge (Jnana Yoga), along with love and devotion for God (Bhaki Yoga) which has lead into action and service (Karma Yoga). Really, I love the sense of community it creates-- and hope that others desire that union (Yoga) as well.
All this leads me back to Ahimsa, honoring myself and those around me in what I say, do and think.