Day 3: Soften Your Grip

Hi. Welcome to Day 3 of the Yoga Anytime Self-Care Challenge.
Today we’ll take on the process of loosening the grip of fear. YES! Our guide for today’s practice is asteya, or non-stealing.

Non-stealing is Trusting

If the work of self-care is self-love and ultimately trust, we begin to examine and know deeply the consequences of not trusting. When we don’t trust, we tighten, we grip, we try to control. And for good reason, many times. When a situation is unsafe, our work is one of necessary self-protection and preservation, but when there is no danger, the gripping is actually a form of theft. We steal from others the opportunity to show up completely. We steal from ourselves the opportunity to live an authentic existence. Our attempts to remain safe keep us out of connection.
One of the ways we, we beautiful perpetual joy thieves, rob ourselves of connection is by believing everything we think. We cling to a story, an idea, a belief. Even if the story is partially or even wholly true, our attachment to it keeps us from experiencing a bigger truth.
I have a funny, and slightly embarrassing story around this point: I had my birth chart completed. The results told me that I was born with the sun in cancer, moon in pisces and scorpio rising. These are all of the water signs. For a time, I constructed a story for myself where I was just too much, too emotional, too watery and needed lots of earth around me to keep me in line. Oh boy. Well, it turns out that I had given an incorrect time of birth when I had that chart done, because upon a review of my birth certificate and a follow-up chart this spring, I learned that I am actually SAGITTARIUS rising. FIRE! Of course. By believing this thing that I thought was true, I totally limited myself from a complete human experience. I robbed myself of connection. (Side note: even though I never quite fit the profile of a scorpio rising, for this time I read the scorpio rising horoscope and IT WAS ALWAYS TRUE FOR ME.)

Stealing in Context

These subtle and not-so subtle thefts are the realm of the kleshas, or obstacles to clear vision. The definition of yoga that I come back to over and over again (thank you, Kira, for this teaching) is that yoga is seeing more clearly what is actually happening. The kleshas are the stories or thought patterns that make clear vision more difficult.
Let’s review the kleshas in preparation for this work:
  • Avidya: forgetfulness of our true nature; not clear vision
  • Asmita: clinging to the story the ego weaves about our nature
  • Raga: attachment to objects of desire
  • Dvesa: attachment to objects of pain
  • Abhinivesh: attachment to the status quo, fear of change
At the the heart of every klesha is a lack of trust, the perception of scarcity. We believe on some level that we are not enough and that we will not have enough: money, freedom, space, love.

“When one is established in non-stealing, riches present themselves freely.” ~ YS 2.37

The work of practicing asteya is trusting our eternal inner abundance. There is nothing to do but to remember who you are at your core: love. Trust that we are at home in this world. We belong. We are whole. By remembering this, its truth is revealed.
For today’s practices, we will practice expanding our perspective, revealing the spaciousness that is always present; we will then notice in our own bodies where we tend to disbelieve space and support, and move into a place of trusting our own resources.
I can’t wait to hear how these practices feel for you. Be sure to keep in touch with your experience by commenting here or on social media. Tag us on Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #SelfCareChallenge.
Join us for the 10 Day Self-Care Challenge with Kelly Sunrose.
Kelly Sunrose
About the Author

Kelly Sunrose

Kelly Sunrose is the creator of Yoga Anytime's Self Care Challenge. She teaches yoga in Portland, Oregon where she lives with her husband and daughter. Learn more.


Louisa C
2 people like this.
Thank you for this enlightening article! I am living with some fears and now realize it is robbing others of my 100 percent from showing up and being present! Stealing being here now!
Kelly Sunrose
Louisa, Thank you so much for reading and writing in. (And sorry it has taken me so long to respond!) That recognition of fear is such big work. Beautiful insights. LOVE!

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