Before this month took off, I was working on ideas for my yoga classes. I decided to explore the yamas, one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, during the month of June and have classes related to them or mentioning the ideas. Depending on the style of class, of course. The yamas are the restraints set to give the yogi a strong moral foundation (There are a lot of ideas and similarities to the Ten Commandments. Basically, how to be a decent human). This week, I was attempting to teach asteya, non-grasping or non-stealing.
I am not sure if I ever really understood this yama until recently. Non-grasping, or not coveting, when we are consciously aware is hard. Very. To see our friends traveling the world while we’re at work; our families are having babies and you aren’t ready but loooove babies; the yogi next to you in the splits and you’re oh so close; your coworker got a promotion and has half the qualifications you do, thinking about something that we don’t have can take a toll on our lives. We are not happy because we are “missing” or missing out on something. I’m not saying don’t dream or work hard or plan. I’m saying, well really relaying the message, do not want. You are fine without.
James 4:2-3 says,”You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” There is a reason we are not in a different place, in a different moment. It’s not in the divine plan. Longing for another situation is doing nothing but blurring your sight for the present and suffering in the future. And blurring your vision for experiencing this very moment as God has prepared it for you.
That’s where asteya comes in. Keep returning to that thought of not longing for anything that belongs to someone else, to some other moment.
Time. Yes, time. I have discovered how much I do not like time. I love to not have clocks working or my phone dead or wearing my watch that literally says “NOW” on the face (yes, without any numbers @stealbacktime;)). But it is important, at times, to be “on time” places. Everyone that knows my family knows we run about 3 hours after the rest of the world, technologoly and attending any events. It runs in my blood, just go when you’re ready to go. Which is fine, but there is a time and a place for that mindset. It is important to be on time to teach my yoga classes, dinners, events, volunteering, appointments, and meetings. Other people are depending on me and have schedules. And then domino effect… By stealing their time, I am not practing asteya. I am literally stealing something from them that they cannot get back.
And the hardest part isn’t even not stealing. The hardest part is thinking about wanting what it is you do not possess in this moment. Non-grasping is also not stealing other’s materials, words, ideas, or creations and/or passing them off as our own. Grasping. Ah, it’s quite intense!
God works in really cool ways. I was weary of planning this week but it turns out I might have needed this “theme” more than my students. I am where I am, where I am. I am here. I choose to accept that. I choose to love myself in this very moment and will love others as they are. They are they, and I am me. And God has created this moment in time, sitting in the quiet town home with two sleeping pets, spending time being grateful for everything He has given me….just for me.
With love and Asteya,