Thousands of years ago, the Sage Patanjali and his students wrote The Yoga Sutras. This 3 volumed book is like an instruction manual on how to live in order to advance towards spiritual enlightenment. The Sutras describe 8 limbs, different steps on the ladder to realisation. One of these limbs are the Yamas. Yamas are disciplines, guiding us towards a moral way to live outwardly within the world and inwardly towards ourselves.
There are 5 different Yamas and over the next 5 weeks I will introduce you to them. With the idea of enhancing your yoga practice by offering a focus which you can carry with you as you leave the class. This week the Yama is Asteya ( non stealing). Apart from the obvious, not taking what doesn’t belong to us. Asteya can also be to not push ourselves in our Yoga practice. At times we can desire to achieve the perfect pose. This mindset robs us from being present within the posture. It prevents us from sustaining a natural practice. It is never the postures we are able to do that defines are practice. It is the amount of awareness we bring to it. Another example of Asteya is to not steal someone peace or time or energy. This could happen in class when rushing in late, or answering a call, or taking up the space around you. Asteya in our daily lives could be how we hoard our belongings, possess our loved one or overbuy items. Robbing others of the chance to have what they need (toilet paper and petrol comes to mind!)
In our emotions we can steal away the opportunity by not experiencing the array of emotions and sensations that life can hold. Avoiding sadness by only acknowledging the happier moments or boredom by occupying ourselves with our technology. Looking at darker areas can make the lighter ones shine brighter. To encourage Asteya into our lives we can practice Abundance. Knowing that we have enough is the key to wanting and desiring less. Incorporate the mantra “I AM ENOUGH“ at the beginning and end of your Yoga practice or meditation.
Light and Love