The yoga world is very loud! Classes with boisterous playlists, talky teachers, chatty students and extra heavy Ujjayi pranayamacan get overwhelming and, frankly, a bit distracting. Not to mention the cacophony amplified by social media platforms, blogs (yes, even this one,) newsletters, brands, books, articles, photos and videos…
Occasionally it feels as though the sounds—both the physical ones coming through our ears, and the visual and mental vibrations infiltrating our eyes and minds—are Harry Potter-style yogic Dementors, unwittingly stealing little pieces of our Prana.
“The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.” —Alfred Brendel
Asteya is one of the five yamas enumerated in the Yoga Sutras, and it is generally translated to mean “non-coveting” or “non-stealing.” Obviously, stealing is bad. But what about the kind of stealing that doesn’t involve material possessions? If our bodies are our homes then it’s not too much of a stretch to equate some of what’s happening right now in yoga to a sort of well-meaning “home invasion.”
This is why the advanced (and way harder!) yoga practice is less about asana and more about discernment (Viveka in Sanskrit.) Learning to separate signal from noise is super important, especially when you consider that yoga was invented to help us tune in into, and experience, our true selves.