When 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?
Picture the scene…your friend rocks up to Starbucks sporting possibly THE most hideous outfit you have ever seen. Not only does it cling for dear life to all the wrong places, it looks suspiciously like something the cat might bring home.
When asked what you think of said ensemble, do you say…
a. “This is possibly the ugliest thing I have ever seen you in and it does nothing for your muffin tops.”
b. “It’s GORGEOUS!”
c. “To be honest, I am not sure the style really suits you. Do you still have the receipt?”
While answer A may be the whole truth and answer B a total lie, answer C may be the closest thing to yoga’s notion of the truth. In my last blog we embarked on Pantajali’s list of yamas. The second one of those little moral codes is satya – truthfulness.
It’s only yoga…so why do we constantly beat ourselves up on our mats? Whether it is judging our bodies, comparing our practice to someone else’s or forcing our limbs into something they are not ready for, our mat can often become a battleground of sweat, pain and judgement! It got me thinking, how often do we forget that yoga is more than just physical?
When it comes to the practice of yoga postures or asana, we can get caught up in the notion that this is the only tool in the yoga box. In fact, asana is the third rung on the ladder of what is known as the eight limbs of yoga. This path to enlightenment was laid down in Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras a long time before we ever had funky yoga clothing and studios. As one of the founding fathers of yoga, Pantajali was a guy who knew what he was talking about. Before we even get into the physical, he highlighted two things we should tackle – the yamas and the niyamas. I like to think of them as yoga’s little moral and ethical codes, and over the next few weeks we will take a look at each one and how they can relate to our yoga and life.