Philosophy

The Yamas - Asteya

 Freedom comes from within.   Photo by Kelsey White

Freedom comes from within. 

Photo by Kelsey White

In past articles, we've explored Ahimsa and Satya, the first two yamas from the text "The Yoga Sutras".  Today we'll discuss and take a look at asteya.  Asteya is the practice of non-stealing.  It is the respectful observance of sources that have contributed to your life or surround you in written, spoken, energetic, or situational exchange.

One way you can think of this practice as utilizing the academic use of bibliographies to ensure that you are giving proper credit to those who have introduced or developed the information that is presented to you in life. Another way is to respect the time and energy of yourself and those around you. Practicing asteya enables us to honor the community we come from and interact with in our lives, while simultaneously lifting each other up energetically instead of eroding the very forces that sustain and build us all.

Asteya, when practiced well, can physiologically affect individuals, including yourself.  When we practice asteya, we are able to positively support brain chemistry including our serotonin and dopamine levels. These two chemicals are related to doing a good job and value or stature. The more we practice giving people the credit they deserve, the more we help elevate their level of self-worth, value, and appreciation and the less likely individuals will experience chemical imbalances that result in symptoms like depression, anxiety, and social fears.

Be aware of asteya in:

 Photo by Mary Wrightson

Photo by Mary Wrightson

  • Your speech, writing, artwork/creations
  • Use of imagery on social media
  • Exchanges with teachers, professors
  • Exchanges with friends, family and lovers
  • Your own energy expenditures (thoughts, actions, emotions, words)

Ask yourself:

  • Did I come up with this?
  • Where did this (idea, thought, emotion, item, etc) come from? 
  • Am I living presently or focusing on past or future?
  • Am I adding to, taking away from, or being neutral in this situation?
  • Is there reciprocity in this situation or my day to day life?
  • How can I give more credit to my wealth of knowledge or those around me?
  • Do I know how to say no to others when it is depleting of my own energy? 

Enjoy taking a deeper look within and starting to become aware of your patterns and habits. As always, if you need support or assistance in working with this topic and construct in your life, please contact us to set up an energy or coaching session with one of our professionals so you can live beyond limit and start living the life you'd like to live. 

Pura Vida - Live Pure and Presently

Pura Vida

Pura Vida.  Pure Living. Bliss.   Existing in your perfect consciousness and authentic expression. Yoga. Perfectly connected and balanced mind, body, and spirit.

Our life experience and consciousness is defined by how many things change in our lives, and I'm going to encourage that you embrace a heck of a lot more change and a lot less strict routine to heighten your life experience and be more aware, present, and balanced.  Once we get in a rut in our practice, our life, our activities and thoughts we create what we call in yoga samskaras.  These are patterns and pathways our energy takes and the more defined and determined the samskara, the more limited our awareness and experience as our brain creates neurological pathways to reinforce behaviors, perspectives, and thought patterns.  

To live pure, or free of these binding patterns we must be consciously aware and open to the constant flux the universe exists within.  When we open our minds to what more there can be, the brain is happy to create new pathways for the infinite potential of experiences in existence.  

For example, in your yoga practice, you may find yourself anticipating the next movement or breath pattern, but frequently the teacher asks you to do something different even though your anticipation had you starting something else, which suggests a lack of true presence and awareness of the moment. 

If we live purely and consciously we can stay whole and present in the moment and learn to react to what is and not just what we are expecting.  Our reactions then are based off of the current situation and not pre-existing knowledge and patterning giving us the opportunity to move outside of the samskaras and previous neruo-pathways to new pathways and the ability to grow and evolve in each moment. 

In doing this, we often are able to free ourselves of pre-conceived ideas that bring stress and suffering to our being and the yamas and niyamas (the first two set of practices in the yoga system) become effortless in the process. By relieving unnecessary stressors from our lives, our physiology begins to shift and our fascia begins to relax.  This enables the body to become more open and regenerate at a higher rate, which then leads to less discomfort and a greater range of motion in the physical practice of yoga and a more full experience off the mat in life.    

To be present is to be whole. To be whole is to truly be yourself and not what others have tried to make you. 

Give it a try and be surprised at what reveals itself to you in your experiences.  

 

What is Yoga?

Yoga is the connection of the self to the self, to put it simply.  It refers to being in sync with all aspects of yourself.

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The word yoga means "to yoke" and refers to the yoking of mind, body, spirit, and emotion through practice and through life.  While some may view the "bendy" postures and development of physical flexibility as yoga, they often time overlook the understanding of the self that these postures are designed to reveal and the flexibility that is gained through developing continuity of the self via practice.  

Yoga traditionally has 8 limbs consisting of becoming aware and mastering how we interact with others, ourselves, our physical movement, our breath, internal awareness, focus, meditative capacity, and ability to be connected to peace and ease.  Mastery of the self can only happen once we finally accept who and what we are, what we're driven to, what we find pleasure in, and all of our "shadows" from our past or present.  

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Live Beyond Limit and more traditional studios aim to teach you all aspects of yoga so you can enjoy more ease, abundance, and joy in life via the practice of working with yourself on all levels. 

Yoga helps us learn to live fully, freely, and peacefully within ourselves and the world.

The Yamas - Ahimsa

Yoga Yamas

The Yamas are the first "limb" of yoga as concluded by Pantanjali, a famous sage who brought together the teachings behind yoga in his compilation The Yoga Sutras.  

These social observances are boiled down principles to govern your actions, motives, and behaviors as you interact not only with yourself, but with your community. We will look closely at ahimsa today, or non-harming. 

Ahimsa:  Non-Harming/ Non-Violence

Ahimsa is simply practicing to reduce physical, mental, emotional, environmental, and spiritual harm and violence.  This yama requests that you take a look at your actions and see how you can live more symbiotically with your community in order to foster health and vitality around you instead of harm and destruction.  

Practicing ahimsa in your words means using intentional communication.  Intentional communication considers all factors going into the exchange to ensure that the intention of the words spoken are able to be received and understood fully. 

 

Examples:

•   Communicate intentionally by asking: Is it true? Is it necessary? Can it be spoken to minimize harm?

•   Try to go organic – your money gives energy to the industry standards you accept

•   Buy local produce and products to minimize the use of petrochemicals in transport while boosting local economy.

•   Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is when your body recovers and rehydrates from the day prior

•   Use compassion with those who are unhappy or suffering

•   Release judgments of yourself and others

•   Create strong boundaries for yourself and others to respectfully operate within