The Yamas: Asteya by Lena Schmidt
The yogic journey, as defined by Patanjali (the ancient sage said to have authored the Yoga Sutras, a foundational text of yoga) is an eight-fold path. The eight limbs act as guidelines for how to live a healthy and meaningful life, tuned into ones own purpose and spiritual nature. The eight limbs are yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Over the next few weeks we’ll be diving deeper into each of the 8 Limbs here in this blog and in the Thursday, 9:00am, Yoga 1 class at the North Park studio. Enjoy your journey!
The first limb of the eight-fold path is the Yamas, or attitudes and behaviors towards others. The Yamas are basically the moral “don’ts.” The 5 Yamas are Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacarya, and Aparigraha.
The third of the Yamas is Asteya. Asteya is non-stealing.
We can practice Asteya in yoga by:
*Not taking something that doesn’t belong to you (personal items, clothing, mats, blankets, blocks)
*Not stealing attention by placing your mat in the front of the room and “showing off” challenging poses unless directed by the teacher
*Not forcing the body into positions that aren’t agreeable (instead, think about “earning” your poses with hard work and breath rather than “stealing” the process and experience from yourself)
We can practice Asteya in life by:
*Not stealing property (physical, intellectual)
*Not stealing time (active Asteya includes being respectful of others’ time—watch the time to ensure you arrive on time for appointments or to let someone know you’re running late)
*Not stealing others’ creativity by forcing your opinions on them
Practice tips: In what ways are you stealing from yourself or others on a daily basis? Are you shorting yourself some much desired “free time” by logging on to Facebook or Instagram? Are you shorting yourself an inspirational yoga practice by hemming and hawing over the decision to JUST GO? Are you stealing from your friend’s precious time by using your words to complain?