Asteya: What's Stealing Your Attention?

Last week we began our exploration of the third yama, asteya/non-stealing. We started the practice by thinking about ways that we steal time and energy from ourselves and from others. In my post, I said that our most valuable resource is time. This week I'd like to expand on that; consider for a moment if our most valuable resource is not only our time, but also our attention.

AsteyaHaving a whole library, TV, encyclopedia, weather station, gaming console and access to the thoughts of millions of people in a device smaller than a single book is incredibly convenient, but how often does technology divide or perhaps steal our attention, often without us even noticing?

As a society we are more distracted than ever. While sometimes this distraction may not hurt anyone, at other times it can hurt other's feelings, cause accidents, or make us miss out on the best parts of life.

When we watch TV while eating, we steal the enjoyment of a meal from ourselves, and perhaps the pride of the person who has spent time carefully preparing it.
We steal our attention from the important task of driving any time we respond to our phones while on the road.
We steal the enjoyment of a concert when we focus on capturing the perfect picture or videoing the act rather than simply watching and being present.
We steal our presence from those around us by scrolling on our phones instead of paying attention the person in front of us.

"The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention" ~ Thich Nhat Han

This week, on and off the mat we'll be exploring asteya or non-stealing of our attention and presence. I believe this practice connects the very heart of what our yoga practice is for; learning to be present in the moment.

Start today by removing all distractions when you sit down to eat. Practice presence with others by committing to leaving your phone, laptop and other technology completely out of sight while interacting with friends and family. On and off the mat commit to being present and attentive to whatever you're doing or whoever you're with.

Gemstones for Asteya

Not only can we steal time and energy from others, we can also have it stolen from us. If you feel like other people steal your energy - consider wearing onyx.

Onyx BraceletOnyx malaOnyx Leather Wrap

Onyx is a stone of protection which absorbs and transforms negative energy, and helps to prevent the drain of personal energy. Onyx encourages wise decision making and increases self-discipline while calming nervousness, fear and anxiety. It aids in the development of emotional and physical strength and stamina, and encourages self-confidence, happiness and good fortune. Black Onyx is a wonderful stone for grounding and centering during meditation.

Onyx is available in matte and gloss finish and can be combined with other gemstones.

Check out the images for some of the onyx items available in our online shop and studio. If the one you love isn't linked, message us as we will be happy to make it for you. Custom designs available. All jewelry is hand made in Jasper by an experienced yoga and meditation teacher.

Journal: Asteya

Below are this week's journal questions for exploring asteya/non-stealing of time and energy:

As always you do not need to share your journal responses with anyone; grab a notebook or laptop and write freely and honestly without filtering yourself.

Asteya journal

In what ways do you steal time from yourself and from others? What changes can you make to reduce how often this happens?

Do you ever feel your energy being 'stolen' by another person? Does this happen with many people or a specific person? What can you do to protect yourself in future encounters with these people/this person?

Are there any times where you may be stealing energy from others? What are you willing to do to balance these relationships and give back?

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"