The practice of Non Stealing Asteya

June 5, 2017

 

The thing I love about yoga the most is using the tools of the Yamas and Niyamas to weave into the tapestry of life. We can enhance our lives by practicing daily, not only in the physical practice as most know yoga as 'the Asanas' but by incorporating all '8 Limbs of Yoga'. Today we discuss one of the Yamas, Asteya. Astray is the fourth Yama of Patanjali’s 5 Yamas of the Yoga Sutras.Asteya is the practice of ‘non-stealing’ in which the meaning is beyond the physical act of stealing.But asteya’s deeper meaning goes far beyond this. It also means not taking that which is not offered, including not just material objects but also time, thoughts, energy, emotions and ideas. Its fundamental implication is that we should refrain from looking outside ourselves to other people, things, and situations to make us happy and fulfilled. The urge to steal, whether material things or otherwise, often comes from the subconscious belief that there’s 'not enough' to go around. This fear of lack or scarcity leads to greed or hoarding. These fears are stemmed from the root problem arising that the individual feels 'I am not good enough'. The need to steal essentially arises because of a lack of faith in ourselves to be able to create what we need by ourselves. The moment we feel a sense of ‘lack’ in life - desire, want and greed arises. We begin to look for something to fill that ‘empty’ sensation, and often feel as though everyone else has what we want.The need to steal essentially arises because of a lack of faith in ourselves to be able to create what we need by ourselves.Lack, insecurity, wanting, feeling ‘incomplete’ …. Essentially it all boils down to feeling like there’s something missing. The word yoga means ‘to yoke’, ‘unite’, ‘connect’, or essentially to become ‘whole’, so by practicing each aspect of Yoga on and off the mat, we can move further towards feeling as though we already have enough, and we already are enough within ourselves.Desires and wants, is what causes us to go out of our way to obtain something. Often, the things we buy and don’t need, or ideas and energy we take from others for ourselves, we rob others of the chance to have what they do need. So how do we balance the feelings of lack? We practice gratitude...When we become more grateful we become more abundant. We shift our perspective from lack to I am enough or have enough. Abundance means to have a large amount of something – so much so that there is no need for anything else. Practicing knowing that we have enough, and we are enough, is the key to wanting and desiring less, and therefore feeling a lot more whole and happy within ourselves.Whenever those feelings of lack, want or desire arise, practice using the mantra ‘I am enough’ and see how it affects your life.

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