Good Monday morning, I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful weekend. It is Monday, so it is time for another #MindfulnessMonday post. This week, we will share with you the last three Yamas, or codes of conduct for universal morality, of the Yoga Sutras, which are Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha.
Asteya literally translates to non-stealing. When talking about codes of universal morality, it makes logical sense that we would be advised not to steal, however, when applying Asteya, we are referring to not just not stealing people’s possessions, but not stealing their energy, their ideas, or their moments. As we have noticed with the other Yamas, it is much more about our inner world, than our outer world, for ultimately, when our inner world is aligned, we will naturally project that outwardly. One of the best ways to make an effort to practice Asteya is to make an effort to be present; to be aware of how our mood, our feelings and the things we say and do affect others. Notice if your actions might be stealing the light from others. Only once we become present and take notice can we make an effort to change our actions, so that they are giving, rather than stealing.
Brahmacharya is the fourth Yama and it means to exercise a sense of control in correct sexual conduct. In the most literal translation, Brahmacharya implies celibacy. Devout yogis have practiced celibacy in order to conserve energy and focus to deepen their practice. We understand the logic behind that and respect everyone’s personal choices…and we will leave this one at that!
The final Yama is Aparigraha and it orders non-possessiveness, non-hoarding, or non-greediness as the last code for universal morality. Generally, this means to limit possessions to what is necessary or important. However, what is necessary and important to each individual is different. Therefore, when making an effort to practice Aparigraha, take stock of all the material and immaterial things that we possess and establish how they serve us and how our feelings of attachment to them serve us. And it is okay, if the way our designer handbag serves us is that we love it and it makes us smile- that works! It is not complicated to follow the Yamas it just requires a commitment to no one other than yourself. So, be good to yourself.