In this Yoga Philosophy Chat with Alex & Kristen, they sit down and chat about the practice of Asteya, which is the third of the yamas. Asteya refers to non-stealing. They speak about the practices of gratitude and the belief of abundance!
Kristen co-leads Sober Girls Yoga Challenges and 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings with Alex on The Mindful Life Practice. Check out the offerings at www.themindfullifepractice.com!
Hi, friend. This is Alex McRobs, founder of The Mindful Life Practice, and you're listening to the Sober Yoga Girl podcast. I'm a Canadian who moved across the world to the Middle East at age 23, and I never went back. I got sober in 2019, and I now live full-time in Bali, Indonesia. I've made it my mission to help other women around the world stop drinking, start yoga, and change their lives through my online Sober Girls Yoga community. You're not alone, and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.
Hi, everyone, and welcome back to our Sunday. It's not Sunday. It's our Monday morning slash Monday evening chats. It is Monday night for me. I finished my Monday, but it's Monday morning for people in North America, and you guys are starting your morning. And we do this every Monday. Me and Kristen will come live. And Kristen has her morning coffee. And sometimes I have tea today. I just have a big bottle of water. And we are chatting about Estella. How are you doing, Kristen? How are you.
This week? I'm doing great. I've been in this new routine that I'm just feeling super pumped about. I have got up at 5:30 every morning, which if anyone who knows me, that's huge. Every day, doing a morning mindful sweat class for anyone who hasn't checked it out, check it out. They're so fun. And it's... Honestly, I'm in this high vibration that I just need to keep carrying through. And these morning chats on Monday mornings are the best way to start my week, so.
Super grateful. Awesome. Wait, did you do sweat at 06:00 AM? Is that why you got up at 5:30? What time.
Do you do sweat class at? No, I'm just a slow person to Sarah at night. I have a community member who does it with me. We do it at 7:00 AM, usually. So today we're going to do it tonight just because I have this. But usually we log on at 7:00. So I have a morning coffee to wake me up for it, and then I jump in.
Oh, nice. Oh, I love that. And speaking of Sarah, Sarah has just tuned in. So hi, Cierra. It's nice to see you. And there's someone else watching live, but the weird thing about Facebook is that it doesn't tell me who's watching. So if you're watching and you want to comment and say, hey, let us know where you are in the world and what's going on, we would love that. All right, so let's jump into a Asteya. So I'm going to pull up. I'm using this reference on the Yamas and the Yamas, and I'm just going to read to you all about Estaya, which is the third Yama, that's what we're moving on to today. And Estaya means non-stealing. And non-stealing is refraining from taking, what isn't yours or taking more than you need. So at a deeper level, a steia means abandoning the desire to possess or steal anything, whether it's a material, a relationship, a gift, a talent, an achievement, a success, time, or natural resources that don't belong to you through force, deceit, or exploitation, through deeds, words, or even thoughts. So it's all about living with gratitude for what you already have as well as others instead of holding feelings of envy and jealousy and greed.
So I'm wondering, what does... Oh, and Samantha is watching. Hi, Samantha. Samantha was just on the retreat, and Miriam Smith is watching. Hello, Miriam. So I'm just wondering, what does a stay of mean to you?
It's a great question. I was putting some thought into it this weekend because I think there's so many different factors that go into a stay. And one thing that I just kept coming back to when I was thinking about it for my own life, but also for when I was reading about it, is often if we pull back all the different layers of different ways of the stay showing up in our lives, there's generally a root cause that's underneath all of it. Typically, often, anyways, that root cause for whether it's stealing or whatever it is, is a feeling of lack or scarcity. It's a feeling of not enough. Whether it's in physical possessions, ourselves, time, whatever it is, there's a sense of lack and scarcity. And so that shows up through and through. And one way to get past that is when we go into shift into the mindset of abundance and gratitude. But that's generally what I kept coming back to as being the root cause. And so Estaya can come up in so many different ways in our lives. And so when we hear stealing, it doesn't mean necessarily that we're physically stealing an object or a person from somebody, but it could be literally even stealing the peace.
I was thinking about this because I've had experiences with it of, say, I'm in just a darker head space that day for whatever reason, that's the energy that I might be carrying with me into a room with people, and I'm then potentially stealing from their peace and their joy by bringing in that mood. That's not to say that we shouldn't share how we're feeling and what not, but just being mindful of how we're even showing up and also being mindful of the energy that we're absorbing from others and how it's impacting our peace, I think is a really true practice of a stay.
That's such an interesting insight because I feel like I've been thinking about that a lot because it's so interesting how these lives have happened all along this one yoga teacher training group that I've had here in Bali. And so I've been reflecting a lot on what's been going on with the group. And one thing that happens, and you probably experienced this too when you went to Costa Rica, when you're in this group setting with these people intensively, you often start off on a high and then you're there for so long that everyone hits this slump where they're like, F this. This is so hard. I'm so tired. And then it piques up towards the end when everyone's like, Oh, my God, we love each other. How is this ending? And we're at this point right now. We have four days left and everyone is emotional. Everyone is emotional today about how it's the end and we love each other, blah, blah, blah. But that's not what it was last week. Last week we were all in this slump. And even I was. I was really annoyed and upset about some things that had happened and mostly due to my own leadership.
And I really think I showed up in the space with a really heavy energy to the point where someone even asked me Are you okay? On the second day because.
I was just.
Like heart and strict and hard on them. And I think I was more just mad at myself for the way things have gotten, but it also was people were not really respecting other people's time. And that was the biggest day I won't know, was like, people are showing up late for the class and then people were feeling like, You're stealing my time of this training. And so it's a lot of like, Yeah, what are we bringing into the group dynamics? And also me as a leader, what am I bringing into the group dynamic to manage this so that we're able to have really healthy conversations with each other about what's happening in the group and not get to this point of we're all mad at each other, although we all learned something from that.
You're totally right. The way we show up in the group is an art of a say as well, too.
You touch on both the pieces there. It's the energy that we bring in or absorb from others. Sometimes that results in us evaluating certain relationships in our lives or friendships in our lives and saying, Does this person bring me joy, peace, and happiness? Or are they only draining my energy and there's nothing to bring that balance? Because everyone has bad days, that's a given. So sometimes it means that we're letting go of people. But the other part is exactly that. It's our time, and so our people being considerate of our time. So in a true, if we're going to go into a yoga studio type way of a stay, it's showing up on time. It's being quiet when you're entering the room, not disturbing other people's peace of what their experience they're trying to get from that yoga practice. But also, if we take that into our professional lives, it's being on time for meetings. It's showing up for what we say we're going to show up for. It's all those different pieces. But I think that we also have to... It's how we are outwardly, but then it's also what we're receiving inwardly. So are we also showing up for ourselves and showing up to the things that we want to do?
Are we taking ourselves to the yoga class on time, or are we stealing that from ourselves, that experience? So you can do it out, relate to how it impacts others, but also inwardly to how that impacts ourselves.
That's so true because when I was... Something has shifted within me. When I was younger, I used to... When I first started yoga, I would get there 15 minutes early for every single class, and I would just be sitting there waiting on my mat, and it was so good for me. And something has shifted within me where I'm less and less punctual with, and I think it's possibly me cramming so much into a day and you know? But yeah, it's stealing from me, from myself. That's a great way to.
Put it. Yeah, and I think we all have those moments. What I've noticed from what we were just talking about, this new morning routine that I have, is when I look back, I would wake up and I would get my coffee and I would just play on my phone, aimlessly scrolling, mindlessly scrolling for an hour and a half. Now that I'm in this morning routine with Sarah, where we're doing the mindful sweat and we're doing all this stuff, I was stealing that beautiful high vibration energy that could have been bringing every single day from my own self. And so it wasn't from a place of anything harmful. It was just where my mindset was at that time. But it made me think of... I was thinking about it on the weekend because I think it was one of your podcasts that I was listening to and you mentioned it, and then it got me thinking about how that is also a form of a statea, which is the whole notion of fear. Rightly or wrongly, it's just how we are and how it's so common in our world today. We let fear hold us back so significantly that we actually steal the possibility of good experiences or new experiences from our lives, whether it's personal, professional, whatever, because maybe we stay in that job, we stay in that relationship.
We stay in that situation that no longer serve us, but we're so afraid to change them that we're stealing from ourselves that potential for something so new and beautiful. I know you love Gabby Bernstein, but in the book The Universe Has Your Back, she actually talks about how the presence of fear is really an absence of love. The practice of a stay reminds us not to deny ourselves experiences in life because of fear.
I love that. I love the different thoughts that you bring with you to these morning chats every morning. We have such a great conversation. That's so true. If you think about, if you take my journey, for example, I wanted to be doing the work that I'm doing now for 10 years, and I literally worked a job I didn't want to for six years. It's fine because I eventually got to where I needed to go and whatever. I don't regret that time, but that's totally the fear and holding yourself back from taking those risks in life is really stealing time from yourself that you could be doing something else.
Yeah, absolutely. It's shown up many times in my life where I've stayed in unhealthy relationships for much longer than were healthy for me. Again, it was the fear of what does the other side look like, which I think is a natural fear to have, but it's how can we work through that fear to move to that next time, to that next side to allow the good experiences to come to us.
Yeah, love that. I have a favorite Estaya story, which I tell all the time, which I'm sure that Chris and has probably heard. It's not even my story. It's from Ralph Gates book, but it was very memorable to me. And the story is that Ralph Gates, who's one of my favorite teachers, he wrote meditations on the mat. He has a situation where he was at a yoga retreat center in Mexico or Costa Rica or somewhere Caribbean and remote. And he borrowed a pair of scissors from the hotel reception. And then he ended up thinking to himself, Oh, these scissors would be really handy the next time I'm down here. So I'm just going to leave them in my suitcase and then I'll just have them. And when he was checking out from the hotel, they asked him where the scissors were, and he had to very humbly them from his luggage and give them back. And I love this story for two reasons. First of all, because it teaches us that sometimes we steal things that we think are irrelevant. We're like, Oh, no one's going to notice these scissors. It's probably worth a couple of dollars.
But you don't realize how valuable one thing might be to another person and that thing being missing is significantly impacting their life, and you wouldn't even think that it matters. And the second thing I love about that story is that I love that Ralph Gates, this happened to him in the middle of him writing this book on yoga philosophy and that he was humble enough to admit it. I think it shows that we're all in this state of continuous growth and we're all going to be making mistakes. And we don't have to be perfect about living yoga. It's just like learning and having these conversations of reflection. We do every Monday and everyone who tunes into it, just constantly thinking, Okay, how can I do better for the next week ahead?
I love that story too, with Wolfgates. That's such a great practice of a stay. You're so right. It's like, no one's perfect. We're all on this learning human journey, but it's just opening our awareness to it. Then just like he did, humbly acknowledging where maybe we're in the state of stealing, so to speak. For example, I did so much research on this day this weekend. Some of these thoughts like, yes, I got the ideas maybe from some of the research I did, and then you put it into practice of yourself, but it's learning from others and bringing it into yourself, and so not stealing from that. I think so often in this day too, and again, this is why I love that comes into everything, is we can get into states of envy and jealousy. If we actually think about the physical practice of yoga and you're in a yoga, you're on your mat or whatever, another form of this day is stealing your own practice from yourself by comparing yourself to others. You might be watching someone going through yoga flow with her eyes closed and you're like, Oh, my goodness, I can't do that.
Then that's, again, we talked about that exact scenario in a himsa, but it's also a because you're stealing your own peace in your practice by getting out of your body into your mind and into that state of comparison, which then surfaces potential feelings of envy and jealousy because you feel like you're not at that same level as maybe that other person, whereas the level, and I think you were talking about it in yoga this weekend of it's not about the physical asana, right? It's about the spiritual journey and so much we can get into just wanting to achieve that perfect posture, and that's 100% not the goal of yoga.
Yeah, totally. I'm wondering if you have any time in your life when you stole something?
Yeah, I do. You don't have to share if you don't want to. I was thinking about this on the weekend. There was a time where I actually physically stole from because I couldn't afford. My family didn't have a lot of money when we were younger. I got greedy and I was in this one store and there was three shirts I wanted. I knew I could afford two of them, and I stole the third. I put it in my bag and I stole it because I was just like, I need this and I want this. I 100 % got busted by security, but I managed to... I was so nervous I paid with my debit and then they had taken it for some reason. I didn't even notice. Then I left and I went to my car so quickly, hid the bag under my thing. Then I'm like, Oh, my God, I don't have my debit. I had to go back in and security was following me. It was the most awful scenario, and I regret it 100%. But that was an example of, again, going back to what I said at the beginning, I was in a scarcity mindset, a lack mindset that drove me into the stealing.
I've never stolen since that. That was the most terrifying scenario of my life from an actual physical object. But I think about back in even my teen years, some of the small step of like, I'll use you for an example, I like Alex's boyfriend. I'm going to start to shift into trying to steal the boyfriend or whatever. It's just even small things like that where I'm in a state of envy on you and it causes me to act in a scenario where I'm trying to steal something that is not mine. Not saying I necessarily stole people's boyfriends, but I think that's an example of how it shows up in high school days or anything like that. The other thing I noticed, and again, I think this was something you had said in one of your yoga classes, and it made me stop and pause, is I used to borrow my... I have this one friend that I just used to admire so much. I was like, Oh, my gosh, she's so beautiful. She's so smart. Why can't I be more like her? Again, lack mindset. I would borrow her tops or whatever because she lived with me, and then I would hang them up in my closet versus hanging them back up in hers.
I don't know if it was a podcast or a yoga class that you were talking about how you went around your entire apartment, collected everything that was not yours, and you gave it back. I was like, Oh, my gosh, I need to do the same. I literally went. I texted her. I'm like, I have three shirts a year. She's like, I don't want them. It's okay. I was like, Okay, well, I feel like I need to give them to goodwill or something because I just feel like there's a heavy energy now with me even having them. I said, If you don't want them, I'm going to donate them. She's like, Donate them. It's fine. Someone else can enjoy them. I did that.
That's awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. I just want to mention you sharing the story about stealing in high school because I think there's so many people out there who can relate. I think it takes a lot of vulnerability to own up to something like that. That's huge. It's really cool to see your journey and your realizations and your evolution and that. Thank you.
I don't think I've ever shared that story because I think there's just so much shame around it. You're young and you're just... But again, it just goes back to I very much, up until this year, probably, or this last, I would say, until joining with you and going through some of the deeper work, I lived in such a lack mindset. Sorry.
I have one stealing story from my youth, which I don't know if... I'm sure you probably heard the story as well. Do you ever hear the story of when I was working at this summer park program and I had a partner. We were in partners and we were alone all day. And I was paired with this girl who was older than me, and she's 10 years older than me, and she had worked for the park program previously. And so it gave the impression of almost she was like my senior and I was the junior, which in fact, at the very end of the summer, I learned that they put us together because they thought I was a really confident, strong-willed person and would be a good influence on her. But I totally made myself small and thought it was the other way around. And they had never given me that direction or guidance. It probably wouldn't have been helpful if they told me at the start of the summer that that was what they saw in me, but I was totally reading the situation wrong. Anyway, this woman, she had a tough life. She was working three full-time jobs.
She was working at the park, she was working at the bar and she was working at the grocery store. She was literally working 24/7 to try and pay for her schooling. And so she was in a different situation than me because my parents were paying for my schooling and I was working to just like, I think they want me to work in the summer and I had these jobs and it was a little bit different. But anyway, basically, the kids were from these underprivileged neighborhoods in Kingston. And anyone who knows when you work for kids, you end up spending a lot of your own money on buying them stuff. I would always do that. I was buying them candy, buying them toys. And so I had invested a lot of money into them. And that was true all through my teaching career as well and all the summer camps I worked at. Anyway, we decided to do this fundraiser pizza party, and we were fundraising money for something. Oh, no, we were having a car wash to fundraise money to order them pizza for an end of the summer pizza party. That was what happened.
And as we were doing this car wash or whatever it was, bake sale, I can't remember what it was, I think I was there that day. I think I was... I think I was called in sick. I can't remember what I was doing. Maybe I called in sick and I was at my friend's car. I definitely wasn't actually sick, but I wasn't there. And the pizza guy had driven up. A pizza man had driven up and said, We'll just give you guys pizza to be kind type of thing, which was so nice. And then when I got back to work, Christina, the person said to me, We should just take the money that we've fundraized because we've both paid so much of our own money into these kids. And I was like, Well, you're right. I have paid a lot of money as a kid. So we ended up splitting the money, and it was really, I think it was like $20 in Looney's and Tootie's. It really wasn't that much money. And we also weren't even stealing it from the camp. The money basically was no one's at this point because people had donated it, but we had gotten a free pizza.
Anyway, the point is, then took another sick day. I went to a yoga festival on the day of the pizza party, and my boss came to sub in for me, and she saw the pizza being given for free. Yet then my coworker claimed that we had paid for the pizza. I was like, What happened? And I got caught in this lie. I got caught in this lie. And I think I used money for parking at the yoga festival. Anyway, I got caught in this lie and I said to the woman, and the woman and me had some text conversations where she wanted me to go into this meeting and continue to lie and say we didn't steal the money. And I was like, At this point, they know. Our boss was there and saw the whole thing happen. We can't just keep saying that we didn't steal this money. I'm just going to own it. I'm just going to go in. And I gave her the warning. I was like, You could go into the meeting and say, Look, I did this. Anyway, I ended up going into the meeting and saying that we stole the money.
And she went into the meeting and lied and said that we hadn't stolen it. And in the end, she got fired. And then my boss said to me, when she was 19, she stole Canadian tire money from her workplace. And her boss said to her, It doesn't matter the mistakes you make in life, it's like how you own up to that. And I've always remembered that. And I actually emailed this woman years later and said you were the best boss I've ever had because you showed me that I could redeem myself from this mistake through coming and telling the truth. And I think that's the most important thing is none of us are going to be perfect, but the way that we can tell the truth and try to make our mistakes right is what matters more than the mistakes we actually make. Anyway, that's my fact story. Summer camp, summer park program stole $20 in two weeks.
I love that advice, though. It's true. It's what we choose to do with the decision that we made. Are we going to continue to go down that stealing path? Are we going to own it and move that forward? That's a beautiful story.
Totally. Okay, we're almost at that. We're at the half hour mark. Samantha commented. She said she was working on trying to be more timely. Thanks for the reminder that it's stealing others time if I'm not on time. Love that. I'm just going to pull up my journal prompts. So every week we end on some journal prompts. So some things that you can journal about with a say, what am I struggling with? What is the underlying root cause? Is there a fear? Are there areas in my life where I can practice less greed, envy, and jealousy? Where am I stealing other people's time? Where often or sorry, where am I downplaying my own talents? Are there ways that I take things that don't belong to me? Just some things to ponder about, maybe write about.
And reflect on this week. Is there.
Anything else that you want to wrap up on or anything else you want to mention or say?
The one thing I would say is a good way to bring yourself more into an abundance mindset versus that lack or scarcity mindset is starting to practice gratitude for everything. For things about yourself, for possessions that you already have, and finding things that already enrich your life so much, and they can really start to shift you out of that lack and scarcity mindset and into the gratitude mindset. And in the Slack group on MLPC, there is a gratitude channel. I think a great way to also have that accountability is maybe post in their daily just do three things and start to build up that practice of gratitude.
I love that. Yeah. Oh, great things to end on. Love it. All right. Thank you, everyone, for tuning in and joining us. And we'll see you all next week. Next week is Brahma Karia, which is the practice of moderation. So have a great week and I'll see you all soon.
Hi, friend. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Sober Yoga Girl Podcast. This community wouldn't exist without you here, so thank you. It would be massively helpful if you could subscribe, leave a review, and share this podcast so it can reach more people. If we haven't met yet in real life, please come get your one week free trial of the Sober Girls Yoga membership and see what we're all about. Sending you love and light wherever you are in the world.