We’re focusing on the concept of Asteya this month on the blog and in our online yoga videos to continue our exploration of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. This topic has a wide range of interpretations and applications. Asteya is the Sanskrit word for non-stealing, so literally not taking anything that doesn’t belong to you without permission.
There are more subtle ways that we might steal from others, such as being chronically late, talking too much, and robbing others of their energy to elevate ourselves or fill ourselves up when we feel like something is missing. Practicing Asteya leads to accountability for our feelings of emptiness and empowers us to make big changes.
Here Are a Few Ways to Practice Asteya In Your Own Life.
Try to always be on time so you don’t keep people waiting. Time is a very valuable thing, and with all of us always being so busy, respecting others’ time creates a solid foundation for good relationships, whether personal or professional.
Focus on the positive. Engaging others in negative talk, gossip, judging, and dwelling on problems is not productive and it spreads negativity. Instead of commiserating around what is wrong in your life, try to make some time for meditation. This will give you a new perspective for problem solving and you will gain a softer demeanor that everyone will appreciate.
Try to be concise with your story-telling. This goes back to being respectful of other people’s time and energy. It will also make you a better communicator and opens up space for the other person to contribute to the conversation.
Stealing is Not Just Physical, it’s Emotional Too.
Stealing of the physical form is obvious for this yoga concept, but stealing in an emotional sense can also happen when we experience feelings of jealousy towards others. Jealousy is a narrowing emotion that creates feelings of “lack.” You might feel jealous of someone else because they have something you don’t, or maybe they accomplished something you didn’t, so you feel bad. Jealousy implies that you’re not good enough, and if you only had that one thing that causes you envy, you would be happy. In other words, you place your happiness on an external factor while also sending negative vibes to the jealousy receiver. Bring awareness to your strengths, and be grateful for everything you already have. Send positive vibes to everyone who has more than you, and be genuinely happy for the accomplishments of those around you. This will also lead to better interactions, but more importantly, it will keep your inner peace intact.
Yoga goes far beyond the poses, and we love to revisit the 8 limbs as a nice reminder to stay aligned with these important concepts that helps us live happier and healthier lives.