This month’s theme at Kula is Asteya, Sanskrit for non-stealing. Since (hopefully) we aren’t robbers or thieves, we may think this yama of non-stealing doesn’t apply to us. But when we take this yama a bit deeper, there are many instances where we act from a place of scarcity. The biggest takeaway we’ve found from Asteya is that we already have enough. Let’s explore how we can translate this theme into our daily practices.
The myth of being busy
How many times have you been asked by a friend how you’re doing, and responded with “I’m just so busy!” I know I’m guilty. And maybe we really do feel like we’ve got a lot on. However, using “busy” to describe our state of being implies that we don’t have enough time to do what needs to be done. It’s easy to use “busy” as an excuse for un-sorted priorities. Try this: Next time you feel “too busy,” find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes. Take 10 rounds of full, deep breath. Try not to let thoughts creep in, perhaps count the inhalations and exhalations. Then tackle your to-do’s from a calmer and more abundant perspective.
You know that task that really does need to be done? Why do we always find ten more things that seem more important (including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, laying on the couch, ect). When we put off tasks in hope that we can do them later, we’re actually guilty of stealing our own time. Try this: Make a list for the week of what needs to get done. When we can break it down into small, manageable goals, it’s easier to complete and hold ourselves accountable.
Observe your time on the mat
Imagine you’re right in the middle of a tough and sweaty Power class. Music is jamming, you can hear everyone’s strong breath…and your muscles are starting to fatigue. Your teacher calls out another Vinyasa Flow, so you wiggle through your Chaturanga even though your arms feel like they might just fall off. Maybe it’s our ego taking over, but when we don’t listen to the body and think we need more more more– we’re bound to get hurt. Try this: Treat each part of your practice (the warm up, the tough parts, restorative bits and Savasana) with care and attention. Modify for your body; just showing up and breathing with intention is enough!
About the author: Miranda Raimon is a yoga instructor, Kula studio manager and freelance health & wellness writer from the San Francisco Bay Area.