04 Oct August: Asteya
The month of August is Asteya: non-stealing. I find this such an interesting idea in yoga because it is also in the religion which I grew up in, Christianity. In the bible, though shall not steal. But in the bible it talks more about properties, such as: another man’s wife (in many translations of the modern day bible women seem to be property), an animal of a neighbor, or other items that one possessed. However in yoga it includes things plus time, energy, happiness, and so much more.
Non stealing is related to not taking someone else’s time. For example, how many times have you been late to meet a friend, a boss, and your partner/spouse? This may not seem like a big deal being five, 10 or 15 minutes late. In yoga it a form of not being truthful with the words being shared (satya) or not respecting the person that one is meeting because we are stealing their time as they wait. The person who is waiting could be doing something, could be resting or could have planned accordingly knowing the person would be 15 minutes late.
Asteya, also relates to not taking someone else’s’ happiness. The other night I was pondering this with my husband after a night out with some friends. I was observing the emotion of jealousy and felt like because we didn’t see each other all week, when we were out with friends and he was happy and having a good time, I couldn’t go there with him. The lack of connection we had during the week, created a space for theft to come in and want to steal his happiness. Observing this, the thought and emotion in the middle of it being created, allowed me to step outside it, let it go and left space for a wonderful night of fun with friends to take place.
Not only as a wife to I use Asteya often but also, as a studio owner. Sometimes, it is very easy to get caught up in, “that was my idea” or “I did this” and stealing someone’s thunder. I see this happen often due to the ego desiring attention or kudos. For instance, sometimes, I can come up with an idea and the team at the studio carries it out differently than what I would have done. First one could say, I wanted it done this way, and only this way. Stealing the creative juices from one.
But the idea was created and became a living project, which ended in successes, no matter how it was done.
In the beginning of being a manager myself, I would want to say “I’m so glad I thought of that” but the project manager made it come alive and carried it through, so praise is due to the project manager. Therefore, releasing that it was my idea at all and celebrating the process and outcome the manager created.
In yoga, we work with 5 bodies, these ideas of asteya are within these 5 bodies, not just the physical matter body. We look at our actions through energy, where the mind goes energy will follow. So, if I am feeling jealous, or taking someone’s happiness, my energy is in a dark place. But as we become more aware of our thoughts, they become controlled more and more and the monkey mind is lessened. Leaving us to be content and happy on a much deeper level. Therefore, we get to enjoy time with our loved ones and to celebrate in someone doing something great, like carrying out an idea or project. Yoga is such an amazing practice; practice this month with us with ASTEYA. Allow yourself to observe and see how asteya currently is involved or not involved in your life.