Yamas – Asteya – Non Stealing

Yamas are the essential moral principles to practice Yoga. In our western world, we might call these restraints or rules.

Asteya is Non-Stealing. It is the third ethical restraint. Steya means unlawfully taking things that you are not entitled to or that don’t belong to you. Asteya is abstaining from stealing. This refers to possessions, money, materials that are not yours, but can also include stealing; time, energy, ideas, talents, relationships, achievements, successes or even stealing rights or freedoms. When we analyse what motivates us to steal we see that the act is rooted in feeling a lacking of, not enough or there is a feeling of scarcity. Asteya is to abandon the intention, desire to possess or steal from others and oneself. 

In order to illustrate the point, we can use the example of Time. Time is important to everyone. Managing not to show up, to be late or run over time is robbing someone and yourself of one of the most valuable commodities we have. Asteya makes us accountable to stick to the agreed schedule whether if it is work, social or family. Or when you are there – work, social or family, you live in the moment, not in the past, future or fantasies or on your phone. When we recognise when we have wandered, not present with those around us, the realisation that you’re being a time thief! Which gives you the opportunity to self-reflect and notice what is between you and being present with those around you. Asteya asks you to ‘be where you are now, not wasting the time.’

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Published on March 25, 2024