April Newsletter –Asteya-Non-stealing
This month we look at the first limb of yoga from the Yamas. The Yamas are the foundation of yoga practice. The Sanskrit word Asteya translates to not taking what is not yours…..money, goods, credit or the non-desire for another’s possession, qualities, or status.
The word steya means “to steal”; asteya is the opposite of that. It means not taking something that does not belong to you. It also means that if we are entrusted with information, possessions…etc, that we do not take advantage of the situation. Not robbing people of their own experiences and freedoms. Not stealing someone else’s “thunder”. Non-stealing includes not taking what belongs to another, but it also means not taking something and using it for a different purpose than intended. This practice of non-stealing implies not taking anything that has not been freely given. This also includes other’s time. Another way to define asteya is that inconsiderate behavior that demands another’s attention when it is not freely given is , in effect, stealing. Any type of breach of trust, misuse of others property, embezzlement, misappropriation, taking credit for another’s work all includes stealing. Asteya also means not to covet or desire another’s possessions. The belief that this desire of what another has will lead to unsavory behavior. The practice of asteya also frees up the yogi to concentrate on loving and adoring the lord only.
There are many questions we can contemplate in relation to asteya. Such as….How would gossip or rumors steal away from self and others? Could you be stealing time and attention away from others? Does giving to charity support the concept of asteya? Could being generous to others somehow go against the practice of asteya? Do you take and not return? Have you given freely of yourself? Are there things in this world that are given freely to you every day? Does competition and judging go against asteya?
For our physical practice of yoga we can incorporate poses that cultivates being present and giving to our physical bodies. We can participate in dynamic flows that force us to be fully engaged. We can give asana practice our all. We can make time for ourselves by taking time to have an asana practice. And while practicing poses we can be present in our breath and concentration. Giving our full and complete attention to ourselves in all aspects of physical, mental and spiritual practices can be one of many ways we can practice asteya this month.
For my regular students that have participated in my homework project with sending me a personal experience in my class, thank you. Your kindness in helping me is very much appreciated! As well my schedule this month does not leave many options for you to attend regularly.
My April schedule:
Thursday April 2nd Dynamic Fitness 7:30 PM
Saturday April 4th Joy Yoga Washington Ave 7:30 AM Sun Salutations
Saturday April 4th Joy Yoga Washington Ave 9:00 AM Basics
Sunday April 5th Joy Yoga Voss RD 7:30 AM Sun Salutations
Tuesday April 7th Dynamic Fitness 7:30 PM
Thursday April 9th Dynamic Fitness 7:30 PM
Thursday April 16th Dynamic Fitness 7:30 PM
Saturday April 18th Joy Yoga Washington Ave 7:30 AM Sun Salutations
Saturday April 18th Joy Yoga Washington Ave 9:00 AM Basics
Sunday April 19th Joy Yoga Voss RD 7:30 AM Sun Salutations
Tuesday April 21st Dynamic Fitness 7:30 PM
Thursday April 23rd Dynamic Fitness 7:30 PM
Saturday April 25th Joy Yoga Washington Ave 7:30 AM Sun Salutations
Saturday April 25th Joy Yoga Washington Ave 9:00 AM Basics
Sunday April 26th Joy Yoga Voss RD 7:30 AM Sun Salutations
Sunday April 26th Joy Yoga Washington Ave 9:30 AM Basics
Sunday April 26th Joy Yoga Washington Ave 12 noon Joy Flow
Sunday April 26th Joy Yoga Washington Ave 1:15 PM Slow Flow
Tuesday April 28th Dynamic Fitness 7:30 PM
Thursday April 30th Dynamic Fitness 7:30 PM
The last 5 days of March I attended my third in a series of 7 intensives for my 300 HR Teacher Training Certification with the San Marcos School of Yoga. This Yoga Intensive was titled Contemplative Arts and led by Teacher Gioconda Parker from Austin, TX. We looked at symbolism, in particular the Lotus Flower and it’s representation of transformation and growth. We discussed differences of gut level intelligence, emotional intelligence and the power of insight. We learned and sang mantras. Had conversations about Ganesh and obstacles, and how obstacles can be placed in your way to teach you something or how obstacles can be moved out of your way to help you. We created our own Sankalpa – an intention stated in “I am” present tense. We practiced fluid flows, that helped me tap back into my inner dancer. We practiced yin yoga, restorative yoga, Thai Yoga Massage and Yoga Nidra. We had a nature walk and wrote about what we allow to come up for us. We had long conversations about Spiritual Teachers and the contemplation of Peace. We looked at ourselves, and turned inward to see how we create, sustain and end things in our lives.
There are several big take aways for me from this intensive. One is the part I play when it comes to shadow work and archetypes. I experienced a big shift in energy receiving final closure on a past experience and from that I now have a desire to construct for me what I think the model of a spiritual teacher is. For myself I would like to define the difference between Yoga Instructor, Yoga Teacher and Spiritual Teacher. As well as that what these types of leaders have in their similarities. I am also feeling very satisfied with answers I’ve received from within and from outside sources.
I’m feeling like I have stepped out of a void and into the creation of something new for myself. I have a new sense of trust for myself in how I am able to discern spiritual teachings that are right for me. There had been a very long pause for quite some time. And even though I have been delving into a spiritual practice, and regular ritual practices, I feel like I am no longer blindly feeling around in the darkness. There is light that has been shed and it is this light that is leading me into a new path of spirituality. The power and tools have been there all along, and by sitting at the foot of a teacher they have taken the darkness away and shed light upon the path that I had been searching for all along.
May your April, Spring Equinox, Ostara and Easter be filled with newness, resurgence, rebirth, transformation, fertility, creation and all the other things that spring brings!
I can’t wait to share more with you all as this newsletter is being sent to you only 8 days before my next intensive, and then I will be off again on another adventure at the San Marcos School of Yoga. I will be studying Sanskrit in this next go around, and I can not wait to come back to you all with new knowledge.
The light in me honors the light in each and every one of you!