Ahimsa and the Importance of Giving Back at Liforme Yoga Mats
Ahimsa (nonviolence) has been a cornerstone of yoga ethics since at least the first centuries C.E., when the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali were written. Although society has been completely transformed in many ways since that time, violence remains a huge issue in the lives of too many people. Liforme’s charitable giving program is rooted in the principle of Ahimsa, as we work toward a more peaceful world for all living beings.
The Yoga Sutras, one of modern yoga’s favourite ancient texts, is a very esoteric work, broadly concerned with how the human spirit can be freed from the suffering of the material world. Contemporary yogis tend to focus on the most actionable part of the Sutras, the 8 Limbs of Yoga, which offer a progressive pathway toward the state of Samadhi, or enlightenment.
The very first limb describes the Yamas, or restraints, which are guidelines for how to live an ethical life within society. The five Yamas are interdicts against violence, lying, stealing, promiscuity, and greed. The first Yama is Ahimsa, which means nonviolence.
Ahimsa and Giving Back
Ahimsa is at the heart of Liforme’s Giving Back Program. We believe that all businesses (and particularly yoga businesses) have the responsibility to support their communities through charitable giving. We do this through our charity partners, many of which benefit regularly from designated mat purchases from our website, and our community funds which have arisen organically in response to specific needs within the yoga world.
Our charity partnerships for social justice, environmental preservation, and animal welfare are all grounded in Ahimsa.
Yoga Gives Back counters the violence of poverty against women and children in India by working with local NGOs to fund education opportunities, microloans, and safe places to live. Founded by Kayoko Mitsumatsu in 2007, YGB relies primarily on small recurring donations from yogis like you. Liforme became a proud Annual Partner in 2018 and we have raised and donated over $40,000.
GLAAD counters violence against the LGBTQ community by raising awareness and advocating for positive images of gay and trans people in the media. GLAAD is a powerful voice for inclusion, equality, and acceptance. We are proud to support their work with our popular Rainbow Hope Yoga Mat.
Friends of the Earth counters violence against our planet and the resulting acceleration of climate change by lobbying for political and community action for the environment. Liforme Yoga Mats have been eco friendly by design since day one. They are formulated from non-toxic materials and are biodegradable in landfill conditions. Unlike many yoga mat companies, we take our environmental footprint very seriously and always work to tread lightly. Liforme.com sales of our Purple Earth and White Magic Yoga Mats always benefit FOE.
With your help, we have raised and donated over $200,000.
The RSPCA counters violence against animals in the United Kingdom and around the world. As the oldest global charity dedicated to animal welfare (founded in 1824!), the RSPCA has a long track record of working to improve the treatment of animals. We have supported this important work to the tune of over $60,000 to date.
In 2020, Liforme stepped up to support yoga teachers and studios whose livelihoods were threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of your donations, The Yoga Support Fund has raised over $100,000, which has been dispersed to the teachers and studios you nominated in grants of $300 and $650 respectively.
Thanks for Joining Us in Giving Back
Liforme remains committed to the practice of Ahimsa through our Giving Back initiatives, both in through our established partnerships and our community funds.
None of Liforme’s Giving Back initiatives would be possible without your participation. We thank you for your active role when you buy one of our partnership mats, help us make our annual Holiday Giving Back drive a success, or contribute directly to one of our funds. Every person who purchases a Liforme mat helps us help others. When you know the businesses you support live up to your ethical standards, you’re shopping consciously by using your purchasing power for good.