Stolen moments

stolenMomentsWhen it comes to the next yama on yoga’s list – Asteya or non stealing– it all seems pretty clear cut. After all, we have probably had this drummed into us from an early age. Hopefully we are not in the habit of doing our weekly shop and scooting out without paying! But what if I told you there could be more to it than that?

Take the following scenarios…

a. You’ve been waiting for a LONG time for a parking spot and after finally finding one, you indicate and wait. As the car pulls out, in a flash someone else whizzes into your spot…
b. During yoga class you are trying hard to zone out of your busy day when someone rocks up 15 minutes late and loudly slaps out their mat almost on top of you…
c. Your friend starts to pour out her heart about a problem she has. Half way through you interrupt and start to tell her about your problems, which, let’s face it, are way more interesting than hers…
d. Your boss congratulates you at the end of a successful project. You soak up the limelight, not telling him that it was actually your colleague’s idea…

What do all these have in common? Believe it or not…asteya! All are forms of stealing, just not in the conventional way that you might think of at first…

a. This person has just stolen your time, your space and probably your patience
b. This person has stolen some of your inner peace
c. You have stolen your friend’s platform for sharing by not listening fully to her
d. You have stolen your colleague’s credit

Yes, asteya is more than just taking physical things that do not belong to us. In yoga philosophy, it also relates to stealing time and emotional energy. To me, asteya is about reminding ourselves that all that we need is already within. On our yoga mats, it asks us to accept our bodies and our practice as they are today, without judging, forcing or comparing. Off our mats, it can be as simple as taking a moment to be grateful for the little things in life…a blue sky, your family, your friends…why not make your own list today?

asteyapratisthayam sarvaratnopasthanam
By abiding in freedom from the desire for other’s possessions, that which is precious is revealed, and all that is beneficial is freely given.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra II,37 translation by Mukunda Stiles

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  • Reply Lisa Murphy December 5, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Well said, Chezzers.

    • Reply Cheryl Parsons December 10, 2011 at 8:15 am

      Thanks Miss Lisa! xxx

  • Reply Amer October 6, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Karen, Glad to have met you through 90 Minutes TCTW! What a beuatiful blog post! Thank you so much for sharing how yoga has impacted your life journey. Yoga has tremendously influenced my Life as well and I am so grateful for the loving gifts of yoga practice. Linda

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