Asteya, the third yama in the 8 limbs of yoga. It means non-stealing. It sounds simple, but its because we usually think of stealing in the terms of materialism only. There are so many other things we can steal. Attention, credit, space, time, peace and so on.
When we look at Asteya it relates to behaviour caused by thoughts, or fluctations of the mind(Vritti). ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I don’t have enough’. The practice of yoga is about uniting and in many ways becoming whole.
In the second book of the Yoga Sutras, Sutra No. 37:
“To one established in non-stealing, all wealth comes.”
When we talk about stealing, we look at it from a deeper perspective than from society’s constructions. On a universal level, everything you take, without giving anything back is stealing. It could be the neighbor’s car, a bar of chocolate from the store, a flower from the meadow or a breath of fresh air. In order for us to survive, we have to take resources from nature, either directly or indirectly. When you just take without giving anything back, we carry an attitude where we take it for granted and that our life is more important than other forms of life. If we are to synchronize with unity, this attitude must go away. It’s not about counting every breath and making sure we give back what we owe, but if we find gratitude for everything that is available to us, we will naturally find a way to repay it. Without food, it is said that people die after approx. 30 days, without water it can happen in less than a week, and without air we only talk about minutes. Being aware of how fragile our lives are and how dependable we are can bring tremendous gratitude. By integrating gratitude into life, giving back will happen effortlessly, and our lives will become lives of service to others.