Non -Stealing (Asteya)
Like its previous “honesty twin” truthfulness (Satya) most of us would not consider ourselves as thieves. Like much of yoga, this concept asks you to think a little more deeply. Valuables such as a person’s time, attention and even the “limelight” can be stolen. When we don’t give credit where it is due, we are not practising Asteya. When we are greedy with someone’s time or attention, and they are seeming uncomfortable or reluctant, we taking something not freely given.
If you are not feeling confident or secure, or you are under pressure to achieve a task, Asteya can be particularly difficult to follow. Yoga teaches us to let go of comparisons with others and any need to claim something not ours.
Quietening the mind and listening to the heart helps us to know needs from wants and Asteya reminds us that we have most of what we need.
When practising your yoga…
If you find your mind has wandered away from the intention of the pose or the breath, this is stealing from your time and your original intention of benefitting from yoga. Bring your attention back to the breath and the pose without further internal comment.
Occasionally we can slip into envy of others’ ability, strength, or flexibility. Turn this around to giving credit where credit is due and remember we have qualities which others admire.
A final savasana or relaxation, even if brief, is integral to the yoga practice that precedes it. If you do not give stillness credit for its true importance and skimp on it, you are detracting from your original goal of benefitting from yoga.