This month we will be studying ASTEYA
Asteya (non-stealing) is the third yama in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (yama=moral/ethical restraints that involve the yogis relationship to the outside world).
asteya pratisthayam sarva ratnopasthanam
To one established in non-stealing, all wealth comes
Yoga Sutra 2.37
Asteya means not stealing property or wealth that belongs to others. This includes not stealing work, ideas, or even attempting to perform asanas that are not taught to you. If you practice non-stealing, you will reap all the gems of life, which are not necessarily monetary. Real gems are peace of mind, joy, and ultimate happiness. According to the yogis, there is not gem like the peace of mind and ultimate joy that we can attain through spiritual practice, and non-attachment. Indeed, non-attachment is probably the most effective antidote to the desire to steal, for the desire to possess comes to us only when we succumb to forms of attachments.
- Astanga Yoga Anusthana
For most, not stealing what doesn’t belong to you might sound simple when it comes to material possessions. Most of us do not desire to take other people’s things. But there is a deeper understanding of Asteya, including not just material objects but also time, thoughts, energy, emotions and ideas.
We can practice asteya on the mat by honoring our bodies as they are here and now but also consider exploring some of the many ways you can bring it into your life off the mat. Start to think about the way you use your time and resources and how it may have an impact on your life and those around you.
If you're doing, saying or acting will not bind you or bind anybody, then your act is a yogic act. That is asteya.
- Integral Yoga
What does asteya, or stealing, mean for you? What are some other ways to define it?
Have a great March everyone and we look forward to seeing you on your mat!