Asteya

Be generous and honest in your actions and speech

Asteya teaches us to be generous and honest with ourselves and those around us. It is often translated as ‘nonstealing,’ and is an opportunity for us to claim our differences, live rooted in mindfulness practices, and not rob ourselves of joy. Here are my favorite ways to practice this yoga tenant:

Engage with the present moment: My brain can be a beehive of thoughts, many negative, buzzing so loudly I barely notice what I’m doing. This churning wheel of emotions is exhausting and depletes the precious energy I have. When I am frustrated about the past and worry about the future, I steal time from myself. Incorporate mindfulness meditation practices throughout your day to stay centered in the present and experience what each moment has to offer.

Encourage honesty in yourself: Over the course of my healing process, I’ve found many times where I was in complete denial. I ignored my injury and kept pushing myself to get back to ‘normal.’ Because of my fatigue, visual problems, and migraines, my speech therapist had me set a timer whenever I sat down at the computer. In the beginning this timer was five minutes, and then I would need a fifteen minute or more break. I often ignored the timer, frustrated by its constraint and kept working. However, by ignoring it, I pushed myself into such severe pain and fatigue I’d spend days recovering. By not being honest with myself that I needed to slow down and take breaks for my brain to start repairing and get the rest it needed, I cheated myself. Be honest with yourself and those around you about what you are able to do in each moment.

Redefine your story with generosity and honesty: We choose the stories we tell ourselves. By redefining our narrative in a positive light, we expand our capacity to find resilience, and live in the beauty of who we are. My story was one of who I was before, who my friends thought I still was, and it focused on what I had lost. Here’s how I’ve rewritten it: I am mindful, content, and in tune with my body. It was challenging at first, but the more I repeated this narrative, the more it became a habit. And, now I look at the many blessings I have and things that I have learned living with this injury: I take good care of myself, I’m more gentle with myself, I dwell in the present moment as much as I can which is where happiness resides, and I enjoy celebrating everything I do on a daily basis.

What is your narrative? How are you telling your story? Take a moment to practice the art of retelling. Don’t steal precious moments from yourself, instead tell your story in a way that gives you life and energy.