Affirmation: Asteya

If you find yourself in a cycle of procrastination or being habitually rushed, try adding one of these mantras to your day to encourage a more calm and considered approach to your time.

"I use my time well"

"I am in control of how I spend my time"

Asteya: A Contemplation

Asteya time

The first week in our focus on asteya or non-stealing we're paying attention to time and energy.

Consider for a moment if there are any ways that you steal time and/or energy from yourself and from others.

Now also think about the following:

Read more ...

An Introduction to Asteya

'To one established in non-stealing, all wealth comes.’ ~ Sutra 2.37, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Asteya

During the month of June we're turning our focus both on and off the mat to the next yama; asteya which translates to non-stealing.

Read more ...

Satya: Always Do Your Best

The final agreement in The Four Agreements, and our final week focusing on satya/truth is 'always do your best'.

In a perfection-seeking society this agreement can be one of the most liberating. This agreement requires the application of satya to discover and practice the truth every day. In the book Don Miguel Ruiz says; 'under any circumstances, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next.' I understand that if you're working on aircraft engines, or you're a doctor, nurse, surgeon etc, perfection is sometimes required! In this practice I'm referring to our every day lives – our yoga practice, routines, interactions with others, home-life, and 'perfection-not-required' work.

When applied in our yoga practice, always doing your best is the practice of the yama satya (truth) and the niyama svadhyaya (self-study).
We change day to day and our practice should reflect this. Some days we are well rested, energized or relaxed, other days we are tired, sick or frustrated. A 6am practice may look and feel very different to a 2pm, 6pm or 10pm practice. Our best on the mat is altered by our mental, emotional and physical state. Rather than stressing ourselves with an idea of perfection, it's important that we are kind to ourselves in our practice and commit to doing our best at that moment, knowing it's different day to day, and even hour to hour.

When it comes to activities off the mat, this agreement is equally as important. 'keep doing your best – no more and no less... If you try too hard to do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is needed and in the end your best will not be enough. When you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself... But if you do less than your best, you subject yourself to frustrations, self-judgement, guilt and regrets.'
'If you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself. And if you don't judge yourself there is no way you are going to suffer from guilt, blame and self-punishment.'

When you make the commitment to doing your best, you can move out of a perfectionistic, results orientated mindset and find contentment in whatever arises, knowing that you have done your best.

This week, both on and off the mat, continue your practice of satya by noticing if you are doing your best. Do not be afraid to be truthful to yourself about the times you are not doing your best and be aware of how not doing your best makes you feel. Please also remember that your 'best' is not a set bar or goal; it changes day to day depending on your energy, emotions and physical body. Practice this agreement alongside self study and know and accept that your best today may not be the same as it was last week or last year. This will lead you towards the second niyama; contentment.

Satya and Internal Chatter

How often do we define ourselves by how we feel in any particular moment? How often does the internal chatter of our minds say 'I'm not good enough', 'I'm too fat/thin/short/tall/lazy/loud/quiet', 'I'm a bad person because I ...'. Worse, how often do we define ourselves on the judgments and words of others? 'she said I can't sing, it must be true' or 'they don't like my haircut; it must be horrible'.

When we define ourselves by our emotions and the words of others, we step out of the practice of satya/truth.

Why is it important to explore the truth? Take the example of being told that you can't sing. Maybe you really can't sing; perhaps that is the truth. Or maybe you can sing beautifully but the person that said those words had a headache in that moment and really meant to say 'please be quiet'. If we don't explore our truth and stand by it, we can allow the comments of others to become a belief in our minds and affect our internal dialog and future actions.

Some of the beliefs we have about ourselves are deeply rooted in things said to us as children, and others change day to day, almost moment to moment, depending on our experiences and interactions with others.

There is a phrase in sanskrit 'chitta vritti', which translates to 'fluctuations of the mind'. In order to begin calming the chitta vritti we must identify with the truth rather than with our ever changing emotions or the opinions of others. As we become firmly established in our truth we can be more confident and calm, rather than riding a rollercoaster of emotions.

This week, as we continue to focus on satya, practice being aware of the fluctuations of the mind. Notice if you have firm beliefs of yourself or others that may not be established in the truth and take the time to explore the truth. Become aware of how often you allow the words of others, or your own emotions to cloud your beliefs and lose sight of what is true for you. Set the intention each day to practice satya in your thoughts, words and actions both on and off your yoga mat.

Gemstones for Satya

If you're inspired to carry on the work of satya (truth) and the practice of being impeccable with your word, you may be inspired to wear some lapis lazuli.

lapis1Lapis LazuliLapis 2

Known as a stone of truth, lapis lazuli enhances communication, and is a stone of friendship and harmony in relationships. It promotes self-awareness and acceptance. It encourages the wearer to be honest and compassionate when dealing with others. Lapis lazuli is a powerful stone for enhancing intellectual ability; a wonderful stone for enhancing memory, it stimulates the desire for knowledge and understanding. Meditating with lapis lazuli encourages images to form in the mind rather than words, encouraging a higher awareness.

All the designs shown below are available in our online store and in the studio. For different sizes or styles, please contact us for a free design consultation.

Affirmation: Satya and Time

I do have time

One of the most common untruths we tell ourselves over and over every day is 'I don't have time'.

We all have 1440 minutes in a day; being mindful of how we spend them and our attitude to time can make all the difference in how we feel throughout the day.

Move from stressed and overwhelmed to feeling calm and in control with today’s mantra ‘I do have time’

Journal: Satya

Satya JournalThis week's journal questions are based upon the second yama or yogic principle of satya/truth.

Find a few minutes to contemplate these questions and journal freely about them. Don't edit yourself - let the words flow (honestly!) on to your page or keyboard.

What inspires you to be honest?

What is the most common reason for you to be dishonest, what are your motivations when you choose to embellish, change or hide the truth?
Is it ever ok to lie?

What untruths do you repeat to yourself on a daily or weekly basis?

Satya: The Truth About Time

Satya TimeAre you honest with yourself about your time?
Time is an area of our lives where we are often not truthful to ourselves and to other people. This isn't necessarily intentional but none the less these untruths have repercussions and can cause harm (himsa) to ourselves and to others as well as raising stress levels and anxiety.

We know how many hours there are in a day and how much energy we have to do what we need to, but how often do we tell ourselves that we can get the gazillion tasks on our to do list done, take kids or family members to appointments, visit a friend, cook dinner, bath the dog, clean the house, paint the spare room twice and be in bed by 9pm? This may be a bit extreme but I don’t think I'm the only one that can be a little over-ambitious when it comes to my time!
When we are not true to ourselves about how long things are really going to take, we let ourselves and other people down. We repeat the mantra 'I don't have time to...' to ourselves and feel anxious and overwhelmed.

 

This week, the satya practice off the mat is to become aware of how you spend your time.

Notice when you lie to yourself or others about how long a task may take. Be aware of how you feel when you don't complete it on time or when, as a result, you turn up late to another appointment.
Notice if you simply over estimate how much you can do, or habitually underestimate how long things take to complete (I'm guilty of this one!).
Notice if you tell yourself that you don't spend much time on your phone playing games and scrolling, or watching TV, but really lose 5 minutes here and 20 minutes there several times a day. Could these pockets be better spent cuddling the dog, reading something uplifting, or clearing your head in some fresh air?

Time is our most valuable resource. Practicing satya and being truthful about the hours you have in a day and how you choose to spend them can make you feel in control and less stressed.
Combine this with the practice of being impeccable with your word; complete tasks when you say you will, be on time to meetings and appointments, and be honest with people around you, and you be sure to feel more confident and accomplished at the end of each day.

Satya: Be Impeccable With Your Word

4 Agreements

The first agreement in the book 'The Four Agreements' by Don Miguel Ruiz is 'be impeccable with your word'.
He states that this is the most important agreement, but also the most difficult one to honor. Being impeccable with your word is tied closely to the second yama, satya (truth).

I think most of us believe we are truthful people, but when we dig a little deeper into our daily interactions we may notice that perhaps there are more untruths present than we'd expect.

Firstly look on the inside; are you impeccable with your word or do you tell yourself untruths like 'I'm not good enough to do …' or look at another person and tell yourself that they're prettier, luckier or more capable in some way than you are?
Do you tell yourself little untruths like you're not really addicted to sugar, that this one icecream isn't doing any harm, even though you say that every single day.
Do you tell yourself you'll start dieting, meditating, exercising or reading tomorrow but never get around to it? Do you do the things you tell yourself you're going to do?

As with so many of our yogic practices, we must begin on the inside before being able to practice in our interactions with others.

When we become aware of how many untruths we tell to ourselves it perhaps isn't surprising that there are untruths told to others. A little embellishment on a story here, an excuse for being late there….

In yoga we begin with awareness. Noticing when we do certain things and being an observer of our habits and patterns without any judgment on our actions or efforts. From that place of awareness we can set a new path.
This week, steer a course for satya. Be impeccable with your word. Remember to practice satya with ahimsa (non harming) and do not use the truth to hurt others. There is a delicate balance to this practice; it is not perhaps about perfection, but about reducing the unnecessary untruths that cause us stress and self-doubt.

Subcategories