Kimi Marin Yoga

Honor limitations. Transcend Boundaries.

Archive for the tag “abundance”

Asteya: The Third Yama

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This week I am discussing asteya, non-stealing (a= not steya=stealing), the third yama. Yamas are attitudes and restraints we hold to live a deeper, more rewarding and encompassing life.  The first yama is ahimsa, non-violence, and the second is satya, truth. Each yama builds upon each other creating a foundation to live with compassion and contentment.

In my research to see what is already out in the world on asteya, I came across a blog describing each yama. For asteya it basically said “self-explanatory.” I think asteya goes a little deeper than “don’t take shit that doesn’t belong to you.” Asteya to me includes not only the physical removing of items that are not yours but also is taking anything physical, emotional, and energetic that is not yours.  I think of how we take people’s time by being late, being unprepared, or texting and checking email when we are with them. We take from the earth by not recognizing every choice we make from long showers to plastic wrapped food affects the sustainability of this planet and all its inhabitants. We take people’s happiness and good fortune by being jealous, competitive, controlling, or manipulative. We take people’s energy by thinking of our own stuff while someone else talks or saying we will do something and then backing out. We all do this in various ways and these are all forms of stealing.

For a couple of years, I felt lost and unsure of myself. During this time I copied what others were doing. I did this because they seemed successful or happy or sure of themselves. Instead of tapping into my own progress I would compare myself to other people and feel hostile or resentment towards them. When I found my path, all the jealousy and resentment I was holding toward others dissipated. I became happy with what I was doing and could honestly be happy for others. We all must live in balance. When we live in balance, we live with contentment. As many of us know, balance is hard and we are constantly shifting. This constant movement is why we need to stay aware and mindful to what we are doing and how we are doing. Life is in constant motion, we are in always moving. But in the center of the is where our true knowledge and sense of fulfillment rests.

Stealing occurs when we feel a lack for something. We steal from the earth, people, and ourselves when we focus on the external environment to satisfy our desires: we think we need bigger cars, bigger houses, more clothes, more money, more friends, more time. When in fact each of us needs to go within and give to ourselves the gift of presence. This is where the first yama ahimsa, non-violence, says be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to explore, to fail, to wonder, to rest, and to relax. Give yourself permission to feel a sense of lack and then ask “what is it I am lacking?” from there tap in to satya, truth, and again ask “what am I lacking” – until you strip all the layers of illusion (jealousy, ego, competition, comparison, pain, joy, suffering, happiness) and find that you can only say to yourself “I live with abundance.”

Remind yourself when you think you need external validation to make you happier, prettier, thinner, stronger, funnier, more desirable that you live with abundance.

I live with abundance.

I live with abundance.

I live with abundance.

Finding Light in Dark: The Greed and Beauty in Us

In my classes this month, I am touching upon different aspects of the mythic deity Lakshmi, Goddess of Prosperity. I find talking about Lakshmi fun: she is beauty, wealth, and abundance. Yet, I can’t talk about Lakshmi without mentioning her sister Alakshmi, Goddess of Misfortune. Lakshmi is everything benevolent and Alakshmi is everything corrupt. The two are halves of the same whole.

In mythology, Lakshmi does not make judgments nor does she play favorites. What is good for one person is also good for another. No matter your class, gender, sexual orientation, whether rich, poor, black, or white – we all get hungry,  get cold, want love, and want to be understood. As long as you are virtuous and hardworking, Lakshmi will give you her blessings. Yet, Lakshmi is almost always accompanied by her sister and Alakshmi represents the negative energy that comes with wealth and prosperity. Alakshmi is the jealousy, greed, and malice that arises from another’s success or wealth. She is what tears people apart; what incites gossip, slander and corruption.

To weaken Alakshmi, is to acknowledge her strength and residence in each of us. Alakshmi’s power comes from her ability to ride our emotions, to play on the weakness of ego and the hurts of our past. She plays on fears: of being inadequate, of not being good enough, of others success, and fear of not being loved. Often our reactions to experiences are not based on the present experience but rooted in our past. How many times have you gotten mad at a remark a lover made because they brought up an old feeling of inadequacy that may have been instilled by another person entirely? How about arguing with a co-worker over an issue built on months of unresolved tension?

We all live with hurts and injustices yet when we carry the past around with us we hinder our ability to bring abundance, Lakshmi, into our lives. We may fundamentally know we are worthy of good things, but our own reactions to circumstances or deep rooted doubts about ourselves can obstruct  growth. Deepak Chopra says “Understanding that you have choice in how you respond and interpret experiences is the key to healing the emotional body.” We cannot allow our own emotional state be reliant on other people’s words or actions.

When confronted with aspects of myself that I do not I like, I find I want to hide them away – stuff them in a dark corner of my body and hope they vanish. But, the more we ignore aspects of who we are, the more we give strength to these undesirable parts of us. As you go through your day, recognize your emotional reactions to people, places, and situations. When you are on your mat, notice when you get angry or joyful and how those emotions resonate throughout your body.  When we acknowledge these unsavory emotions, we process why we feel threatened by anothers’ success, beauty or social standing  and can dig to the root of these feelings. Only by excavating the deeper landscape and uncovering our core emotion can we release Alakshmi’s negative energies and open space where abundance can flow through freely.

 

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