The Yamas, one of the foundation stones of yoga, were written over two thousand years ago to help us find a way to a calmer life and more inner peace. As I touched upon last week during our yoga sessions, the third Yama, Asteya, is about “non-stealing”. This can be taken in the literal sense, but it can also go far deeper than just not taking what is not ours to take. It can mean not taking from ourselves by “stealing” from our true self and stopping us from being how we are meant to be. This can be as simple as not allowing ourselves to be as quiet or as rested as we feel is right for us, by worrying what other people might think or say if we had a quiet day of self-care, or an afternoon nap. We all know that when we are true to our self, we are at our happiest and most peaceful. Those who are dear to us are happier when we are like that too .. so what is stopping us??? Our ego and our wanting to seem better than we believe we are …. sadly, our ego will rarely do what’s best for us.
More simply, we can also observe Asteya in our yoga practice … not stealing from ourselves by being late for the class …not taking from our uniqueness by wishing we were like someone else and not stealing from our personal time on the mat by observing others and missing out what is happening to us and our personal growth.
When we are not in the present, when we allow our mind to wander, we steal the experience of being alive in that moment from ourselves. If we do that most of the time, we will miss our life completely.
As we all know, but as we all need reminding, yoga helps us to connect to our deeper selves and never more so than when we are in deep relaxation at the end of a session, in Shivasana, Corpse Pose, connecting to our inner peace and Truth.
There is a lovely practice called “The Practice of Abundance” which helps us realise that we need no more than what we have already.
‘Abundance’ means to have a large amount of something – so much so, that there is no need for anything else. Practising knowing that we have enough, and we are enough, is the key to wanting and desiring less, and therefore feeling a lot more whole and happy within ourselves.
Whenever those feelings of lack, want or desire arise, try practising the use of the mantra ‘I am enough’ and see how it affects your life. I am pretty sure you will find, like me, that you do have enough and you “are enough”, just as you are.