1.3. Yama: Asteya - Non-stealing

February 5, 2018

 

Moving up we have arrived to the third Yama, which is Asteya - Non-stealing.

 

To recap the 5 Yamas (restraints) suggested by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are:

- Ahimsa - non harming/non violence

- Satya - truthfulness

- Asteya - non-stealing 

- Brahmacharya - moderation, right use of energy 

- Aparigraha - non-coveting, non-craving

 

For further information please read previous blogs on the subjects (8 limbs of Yoga), (Yamas), (Ahimsa, the 1st of the Yamas), (Satya, the 2nd of the Yamas).

 

The Yoga Sutras Chapter 2.37 relating to Asteya states 'For one steadfast in not stealing will attract all kind of wealth.'

                                           Photo credit: borgamelbourne

 

What does non-stealing means? Obviously, the usual not robbing a bank or shoplifting hopefully is beyond us now :-). It also means non-cheating, not taking something which is not ours, may it be physical or  thoughts, ideas, knowledge.

 

In my experience when we feel like stealing it means that we perceive that we do not have enough. This Yama is strongly connected for me to a Nyama which is coming up soon: Contentment. When we feel we have enough than we do not covet what others have. 

 

So what can you steal that is not so obvious? You can steal other people's joy for example. When they come to you with something exciting to share and you just ignore them or one up them for example. Or when you keep giving them bad news, gossip - was very guilty of this, I confess, every little bad thing that would happen to me I would call my parents, one of my sisters or girlfriends to share the sh...t that was going on in my life. Now I am not saying I never share bad news, but try to share only the ones that are relevant and important for the person to know or if I really need to unburden myself, and then I make sure that I reciprocate the favor to my family, friends when they need my ear.

 

You can also steal intellectual property. Sharing someone's picture, blog or quote as your own. Using material that you have not payed for. My very wise friend once told me that when you get study material, books that you have not paid for, you will not use it or utilize it! How true is that? I received a recording from a friend that I felt a little bit guilty about, but accepted it, being really excited to listen to it. Never got around to it! Now I just deleted it :-).

 

What does this Yama bring up in you?

 

Another interpretation of this Yama is: ' Non-covetousness or the ability to resist a desire for that which does not belong to us'. There is a Hungarian motivation speaker called Peter Szabo, who once said something that really resonated with me: when you see someone having what you would really like instead of envy and cursing them (which is in fact stealing from them in thought), bless them. Because when we bless when we see someone already having what we desire we align with that energy and going towards our goal. When we curse them or feel envious we are actually going into the opposite direction from the object of our desire.' That really flipped the switch for me.

 

A great affirmation for establishing non-stealing from the Kripalu Center:

'I live in gratitude for all I have. I take and use only what is rightfully mine. I respect the possessions and talents of others and release my desires to own objects or talents I do not have. I appreciate my life as it is.'

 

Namaste 

Dora

 

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