This week is about Asteya – non-stealing, non-possessiveness
“Do not steal possessions, emotions or time from others. People steal when they feel incomplete. Find joy in what you have and feel the completeness of the Big Self.”
~ Alan Finger (How to expand the little self to merge into the big self)
INTERPRETATIONS OF ASTEYA AND HOW IT’S APPLIED
“Sure, you’d probably agree that most human beings aren’t thieves. And while the surface level example of asteya (not stealing material possessions from other people or places) is usually easy enough to follow, there are other forms of stealing that can be a bit more challenging to always uphold.
You may even be unknowingly stealing in your daily life: taking credit for someone else’s work, hoarding more than you need, unintentionally taking things from work (pen, notepad). (Hey, if you didn’t know, you didn’t know — no judgment. We can all learn and improve.)
There are many layers to asteya and understanding how to actively practice can be beneficial to both your yoga practice and your daily life.
When combining non-stealing with yoga, remember to give yourself enough time (before, during and after) to wholeheartedly dedicate to your practice. For example, if you attend a group yoga class, being late (and all of the disruption that comes with it) is stealing time and peace from yourself, your yoga teacher, and your fellow yogis.
While on the yoga mat, moving from one asana (pose) to another, it’s common to become distracted by others in the class: one person is incredibly flexible; someone else is flowing through each pose with her eyes closed. It’s impressive and sometimes intimidating.
This awareness may produce thoughts of envy and insecurities about your own abilities. That insecurity may push you to do more than what your body can handle because you desire to look a certain way in a pose.
Pushing yourself beyond your edge for the purpose of perfection is not serving your needs and can result in unnecessary pain and suffering due to injury. Concerning yourself with what others are doing only distracts you from being in the present moment and feeling the beautiful complexities within your own body — it’s stealing your own peace of mind and enjoyment of the practice.
The fact is, every human being is unique and most will look differently in poses. Show yourself some love and compassion by setting healthy boundaries of thought and allow yourself to move through asanas (and life) at your own pace.”
This weeks Yama is Satya – non-lying, truthfulness.
“Lying creates confusion and the inability to perceive guidance from the Big Self. The little self gets trapped in lies. Speak, think and act truthfully and you will have clarity in life.” ~ Alan Finger (How to expand the little self to merge into the big self)
The Four Gates of Speech As a guide, the Four Gates of Speech, which evolved from the third action in the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism, offer a litmus test for delivering spoken words.
Are they true? Beyond the factual verity of your words, they must be spoken with intention and clarity. A lie, no matter how trivial, disconnects us from higher consciousness and creates an entry point for self-doubt – if we know we are capable of lying, we lose the ability to trust ourselves and our instincts.
Are they necessary? Consider whether your words add value to a given situation or whether it might be prudent to listen instead.
Is it the right time? Take a moment to understand whether the person you are speaking to is ready to receive your words. Be patient if the timing isn’t right, your message will land most gently when it is.
Are they kind? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, be kind. Ahimsa is offered as the first yama to be observed above all others and the last gate of speech as a final checkpoint before we are cleared to speak. Words without kindness are unconstructive, even when engaging in challenging conversations. If your words cannot be delivered from a place of kindness, go back inside and evaluate how you might identify words that better reflect your true nature. ~ Laura Hand (Excerpt from “Satya: Truth in Practice”) https://www.gaia.com/article/satya-truth-practice
The Three Universal Truths: 1. Everything is impermanent and changing 2. Impermanence leads to suffering, making life imperfect 3. The self is not personal and unchanging
The Four Nobel Truths: 1. All life involves suffering (the Truth of Suffering) 2. Suffering is caused by desire and attachment (the Origin of Suffering) 3. Desire and attachment can be overcome (the Truth of Cessation) 4. The way to overcome them is by the Eightfold Path (the Truth of the Path) ~ www.bbc.co.uk
Monday 22.08. Heart & Lungs Slow Flow
Wednesday 24.08. “Open” Twists Flow
Thursday 25.08. Open Theme Yogis Choice
Friday 26.08. “Closed” Twists Flow
A lot to worth to think and contemplate about, isn’t it?!
The general known translation for Ahimsa is non-violence, non-injury. I just read Ghandi translated it as love.
Way back in time I did my yoga teacher training in NY; it was taught in the Buddhist tradition. During that time I also went to another studio to take class. It was called “Yoga Zone”, then Be Yoga and later ISHTA where they taught tantra yoga. Most yoga studios in those days were rather simple and purpose fulfilling. At the upper east side where life and the stores were more upscale and this studio was placed, it didn’t quite fit the criteria.
I remember going there once a week in the morning when the owner Alan Finger would teach class. The room packed with people and him sitting on his podium looking like Santa Claus with his rosy cheeks, white hair and beard and genuin smile on this face. Right and left of him were these gorgeous looking young women seated to assist him for the asana part of the class. I was amazed and surprised to see the first rolls of people filled with dedicated older ladies from the upper east side. So with other words a very mixed crowed.
He would lecture the first 20-30 min. on different subjects. I liked how he explained things and made them for everybody approachable. One of the teachings from him stayed with me till now. It is the one of the Yamas (restrains) and Niyamas (non-restrain), you all probably have heard of them or maybe even studied them.
“Refrain from hostility in speech, thought and action. Practice non-harm to yourself, to others and to things. Violence and hostility strengthens the ego, keeping one ignorant of the Big Self. Practice gentleness, compassion and unconditional love.” ~ Alan Finger (How to expand the little self to merge the big self)
I would like to share with you the next weeks the other Yamas as well and maybe you can take the time to reflect and see how it applies to your life or could improve the quality of it.
Monday 08.08. Revitalize the Spine Flow
Wednesday 09.08. Flow into Balance Flow
Thursday 10.08. Open Theme Yogis Choice
Friday 11.08. Side-Body Opening for Easier Breathing Slow Flow
Monday 15.08. How do you want to feel Flow
Wednesday 17.08. Suspended & Supported Slow Flow
Thursday 18.08. Open Theme Yogis Choice
Friday 19.08. Moving Stagnant Energy Flow
I hope you enjoyed the little excursion in to my yoga past 🙂 Come and create some peace for yourself and the world!
2021 copyright nicoleohme
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