Sutra 2.37: asteya pratisthayam sarva ratna upasthanam
When the intelligence firmly rejects desire to hoard, and when thus there is natural firmness in non-hoarding, even precious gems stand in front of the yogi, unable to deflect him. Translation and interpretation by Swami Venkatesananda
Think of yourself in savasana – the deep relaxation pose that ends the physical component of most yoga classes. When all the pieces are just so, it is bliss on many levels.
What’s that, you’ve never savasana’d?! Good heavens, dear reader, you should treat yourself this very moment!
Here are a few guidelines to get you started:
- Check for physical tension.
If you notice any, help it move along with a few gentle movements and stretches while tuning in to your breath. Ideas: start in a cross legged seat and move through seated cat/cow (arch/round the spine), side stretches, and a gentle spinal twist, possibly add some time in downward facing dog and child pose. Don’t forget to keep your attention on your breath.
- Lie down on your back. Take three deep, sighing breaths to settle in.
Not super comfy? Try adding a blanket or firm pillow under your head. Try adding a blanket roll or pillow under your knees. Cover yourself with a blanket. Let your legs roll open naturally and your arms flop open to a roughly 45 degree angle away from you, palms face up. If that doesn’t feel yummy after a breath or two, follow your instincts and make any changes that help you feel at ease.
- Close your eyes. Allow your breath to quiet gradually. Imagine your bones are made of sand. Like sand, they are heavy and spread into the floor. Let that heaviness bring your muscles ooze into the floor as well. Trace the sensations of your limbs (all the way to fingers and toes) and torso (all the way to the top of the head).
- Let yourself be. Stay as you are for the next 10 minutes (or more).
- When the impulse to return gently builds, deepen your breath, wiggle your fingers + toes, and then curl lazily onto one side. Press up to sit using your hands and letting your head come up last. Sit upright for a minute or so, focusing on your breath. You can take any “yawning” stretches that seem like they’d feel good and help you wake back up before heading back into your day!
Now, deep relaxation doesn’t necessarily come easily, so if you didn’t feel bliss on many levels this first time, don’t worry! Keep at it. Savasana once a day, and very soon you will know what I mean (even if you call it something different than bliss).
But why am I teaching you savasana when I’m supposed to be talking about asteya, non-stealing?
Because when you can hold the feeling that what you have satisfies you — like a deep, blissful savasana does for me — there can be no desire to take what isn’t yours; you have enough. If you can bring a savasana-bliss attitude into every corner of your life (no easy feat, practice and patience!), you may very well never want for anything, ever again.
Hari om, om tat sat!
Experience your true self and bring it into every moment of your living!
The Yoga Sutras are a classical text on yoga–a guidebook of sorts.
Each week, 216 teacher Esther Palmer dives into one of the sutras and we let it take us where it takes us.