Day 8: Asteya and poverty consciousness

Today was a long day, blessed by the beautiful energy yoga practice creates.
I teach two 6am classes per week; one on Monday and one on Friday (today). Waking up at 5:15am is not something I’ve ever enjoyed doing, though I’ve done it before–I was once co-head chef at a small cafe that opened with freshly baked breakfast goodies at 7am.  Although it’s hard on my body physically, the joy of teaching and the boost of energy that comes from it is very rewarding.  
Fridays, I spend almost my entire day at the yoga studio.  I open the doors at 5:40am, teach a class, grab breakfast at the coffee shop next door, and then greet members as they arrive for later morning classes.  I took an 8:30 class this morning, and was humbled by the intensity of the practice.  I also taught at noon and 1:15pm, both of which were classes full of friends, people new to yoga, and those willing to bring their sense of humor (vital in my class) and move beyond their limits.  Beautiful.
In my reading today, Gates talks more about asteya, or non-stealing, and the “poverty consciousness” that drives it.  We steal small things, he says, because of our unexamined beliefs in scarcity.  How often have I taken a pen from someone, believing that I just didn’t have enough of them, or that when I needed one next it wouldn’t be there?  Or taken more food than necessary?  What else, upon closer examination, will I realize that I steal?

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