“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.” – Unknown
Asteya, or non-stealing, can be applied in many ways. Here we apply it in the form of boundaries. Acting in authenticity to the Self requires setting up boundaries to respect our intentions, our values, and our desires. These boundaries do not have to be rigid, they can be flexible, but they let others know where we stand. Boundaries allow us to stay rooted in our knowing, rooted in our core values, help keep us guided on the path forward. We may notice that our boundaries inevitably gives permission to our peers to set healthy boundaries as well. As we continue to be accountable, we also respect the boundaries of others. We lead by example and follow our own example. The following link is a helpful article in understanding asteya in relation to boundaries.
Flow/Align Classes: Janusirsasana
Janusirsasana or head-to-knee pose can feel like a familiar and classic stretch. How can we challenge our perception of this posture? It seems simple, but there are many ways to adapt and modify the pose. In order to practice asteya (non-stealing) on the mat, set some boundaries for yourself. Be aware of the backs of your knees and the shoulders. If we have a tendency to hyper extend, try supporting your knees with your forearm or even a blanket. Do you automatically round and hunch in the upper back? Give yourself permission to grab a strap, loop it around the foot, and utilize the support you need to extend the heart forward.
Stretch/Restore Classes: Janusirsasana Twist Variation
This twist can be as subtle or or large as we like. To wring out the spine more, try twisting towards your straight leg. To release the back or counter a deeper twist, try turning towards your bent knee. Remember to root down through the sits bones and drive your spine towards the sky – as we find grounding we create space to expand. Don’t forget to practice your asteya here! Set boundaries for the neck and the gaze – it’s not about how far behind us we can look, it’s more about where we are right now. If turning the chin over your shoulder causes strain, feel freedom to look straight ahead.