MLK Jr: Living a Nonviolent Existence

Jan 13, 2018   //   by Charon   //   Local Day Retreat, Relaxations, Self-Care  //  No Comments


Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace starts within, and in community. Join Yoga District for a day-long yoga retreat to explore holistic paths of non-violent living in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Read on to learn more about nonviolent communication and how our MLK Jr. Day retreat uses ahimas, meditations, as well as mindful practice as forms of nonviolent existence.

Self-care can include other-care. It requires understanding your needs as well those of others.  Communication is an excellent way to comprehend everyone’s needs.


Nonviolent communication (NVC), sometimes referred to as Compassionate Communication, honors the nonviolent practices of individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others that inspired the way in which we exist in the world.

NVC confronts not only explicit violence, but the undercurrent of subtle violence that permeates most cultures. It offers a method of empathy through deep listening to ourselves and others.  Through NVC’s tools and practices a person can attempt to recognize the depth of their compassion.  This understanding allows deeper connection and love for ourselves and others.  

People who have practiced NVC describe it as accessible but transformative.

“All that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries about consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to maintain a perspective of empathy for ourselves and others, even under trying conditions.” — Marshall B. Rosenberg, Phd

Check out the Center for Nonviolent Communication to learn more about NVC  

Practices of Ahimsa (Non-Violence): MLK Day Yoga Retreat

We will explore how principles of nonviolence can be applied to our daily lives through:

  • Communication (NVC)
  • Ahimsa
  • Self-care
  • Meditation and Relaxation techniques
  • Intention Setting
  • Ashana
  • Mindfulness Practices
  • Focused Chanting
  • Nutrition (retreat includes a delicious vegetarian meal and chai)

Click here for the MLK Day retreats schedule


Ahimsa includes practicing non-violence in mind, body, and spirit.

Yoga Master Sri Dharma Mittra explains, “Without Ahimsa there is no yoga.” During the retreat learn about MLK’s six principles of nonviolence, as well as the basics of ahimsa according to classic yoga philosophy.

Find more information about:

  • MLK’s six principles of nonviolence here
  • Ahimsa here


One of Yoga District’s beloved teachers Aparna will be leading meditation, NVC talks,  meditative core & restorative asana practice.  Below she outlines some of what she will cover at the retreat:

During meditation, we’ll explore the art of relaxation to connect within. Through modified yoga nidra, participants will enter a state of relaxed awareness.

During this experience of inner stillness, the participants will write down their intentions in their present moment. The participants would observe what fundamental needs aren’t being met.

In a non-judgemental space using the tools of NVC, we’ll discuss strategies to empathize with the people concerned. How to adopt positive action language to fulfill these needs and feel abundant in our everyday lives.


We’ll discuss the possibilities of self-exploration that mindful practice of asanas (physical postures) can offer. Then we’ll practice a a meditative flow with a core-focused sequence using mula bandha, as well as hip-openers to release and relax. The practice will end with 2, 15 min restorative poses.

Find more information about:

  • Yoga Nidra here
  • How to use Mula Bandha in your yoga practice here

MLK Day Yoga Retreat:Practices of Ahimsa (Non-Violence)

  • 1/15/2018
  • 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • 14th street studio

You can register for the Retreat here

We hope you carry love & compassion on & off the mat!

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The Teachers

The diverse family of DC yoga teachers at Yoga District are dedicated to making yoga accessible to everyone through a huge variety of yoga class types, from vinyasa flow to restorative and beyond. Most Yoga District teachers are graduates of Yoga District’s nationally-attended 200 hour teacher training program. All Yoga District classes focus on coordinating breath with body movement to promote flexibility, strength, and peace of mind. We strongly believe in yoga as therapy, so catch one of our classes whenever you need a healthy dose of self-care.
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The Next Step

The Yoga District 200 and 500 hour teacher training certification programs, registered by the Yoga Alliance are unique in their emphasis on diversity of teaching styles studied, personal attention, and trauma sensitive yoga. It's no coincidence that Yoga District is regularly voted the leading studio in the nation's capital, and that most of its classes are taught by graduates of its training program. As a full time yoga school, small group trainings are led up to eight times a year by a dedicated faculty including Jasmine Chehrazi, contributor to the Harvard Karma Yoga Project teacher training, teacher training faculty at George Washington University, Yoga Alliance Standards Committee Advisory Board Member, Yoga Activist Founder, and Yoga Service Council Advisory Board Member. So take your practice and community involvement to the next level by joining a training. There's a reason why our graduates call the training "transformative."
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