February can be a challenge. We can all admit it’s not the most exciting month, despite having the loving/bittersweet touch of Valentine’s Day and the three-day weekend which President’s Day provides. Nope, February is just cold, and it isn’t spring yet, darn it all.
This week, we’ve been reminding ourselves how Asteya (Non-Stealing), the third of the Yamas (the first of eight limbs of yoga as outlined by the sage, Patanjali), functions in both our practice and our daily lives.
We practice Asteya in a number of ways, including the obvious of not stealing another person’s belongings. But, beyond that, we practice not stealing someone’s experience, time, or attention. We practice not stealing from ourselves in our asana practice: If the body loses its alignment, then one body part may “steal” responsibility, stability, or mobility, from another. This “stealing” may both cause, and be caused by, imbalance.
Think of the practice of Asteya as you would the legs of a chair. Remove, or “steal” a leg, and it will fall over, dumping us from our comfortable seat, causing discomfort and suffering (dukha), not to mention embarrassment when we’re caught. Take too much, and you’ll end up on your derriere.
Back to February… In the boredom of February, it becomes harder to continue our practice than it was in the powerful, exciting beginning of the year. This is the time to engage our Tapas (drive), and stick with the reality, rather than running off to Tahiti. What has to change is our approach.
If our practice in January was powerful and life-changing, as we intended, then February may seem mundane. So, we may alter our approach and expectations for our practice (the entry point). In this way, we may be able to discover a new facet to our practice. Make it new, find a different way to do the same thing, inquire about our experience, “receive” rather than “take”, “give” rather than “push”, open our minds and bodies a little differently to the same experiences we took on so enthusiastically in the recent past. And see what happens then!
As we leave January behind, I’d like to say a big “thank you” to the current Mindful Yoga Collective students who introduced a friend to my classes there. Welcome, to the new faces!
And, if you took advantage of the 3 Private Lesson Special for January, be sure to contact me to schedule your sessions. I’ll be delighted to work with you.
Finally, for February….
Sunday Restorative Yoga will be held on Feb. 7 and 21, 5:00-6:30pm. (Join Charlotte and Marlene for First Sunday Mindfulness on Feb. 7 from 7pm.)
- Mondays and Fridays, 9:15-10:45am @ Mindful Yoga Collective
- Wednesdays, 9:15-10:45am @ Metric Yoga
- Wednesdays, 4-5:15pm @ Metric Yoga
See you at the studio, or at your private lesson. It’s wonderful to work with each of you! Thank you for your practice.