3rd Yama: Asteya explained

I'd love to make you more curious about what YOGA has to offer, more then your weekly yogaclass, on and off the mat.. The ancient practice of yoga can RELATE TO and HELP YOU in your day-to-day life. The content of this blog is meant to inspire you and to inform you on concepts from the yoga I'm Some blogs I'm  writing from my personal experience, others are compiled from existing texts.

By Barbara Klarenbeek




We don’t imagine ourselves to be thieves. There’s not a “swag bag” on our backs, stuffed with the family silver from the house down the road. We’re not holding up banks, or pick-pocketing on city streets. Yet, Asteya, the third of the Yamas and Niyamas in the eight-limbed path of yoga (Yogasutra's Patanjali), reminds us that we are always taking. From the minute we are born into the world—air, food, wood, sunlight, water, help from others—we are on the receiving end of the bounty around us. Asteya is the friend who taps us on the shoulder and says, “You must return what you take.”

Perhaps the simplest way to start our practice of Asteya is with the Earth’s resources. We can move to a zero-waste-lifestyle. We can reduce our carbon footprint, recycle, stop overeating ourselves (how many times do you actually eat TOO much), collect rainwater, and use solar power. We can share the land, rather than covet it for ourselves. We can repair our possessions rather than buy new ones.

As we peel back the layers of Asteya, we also start to gain insight into why we take. What about that book we borrowed from a friend last year and didn’t return? Were we concerned we wouldn’t be able to do without it? And what about those two pairs of jeans we purchased instead of just one?

When we buy more than we need, we’re often subconsciously looking to ‘fill a gap’ that we feel is missing in life. Material possessions obviously can’t replace whatever it is our soul really needs, but time and time again we temporarily satisfy ourselves by buying yet more ‘stuff’ we don’t need. Gandhi’s said; ‘mankind’s greed and craving for artificial needs is also stealing’; it is these artificial needs which create the piles of stuff around us. And yet the more material things we have around us, often the more material things we feel we need.

Asteya does not only pertain to material objects. It also points to the myriad of ways we steal with our time, words, and thoughts. How often do we take from our employer by not working when we are paid to do so? How many times do we steal from our friends with our words when we do not let them speak about their triumphs without chiming in about our own? How frequently do we steal with our thoughts when we envy those around us—taking away their right to joy?

And finally, perhaps the greatest victim of our habit of “taking” is ourselves. “In all the ways that we impose an outside image of ourselves onto ourselves, we are stealing from the unfolding of our own uniqueness. And all the demands and expectations that we place on ourselves steal from our own enthusiasm. The biggest theft of all is that, in our constant rush to achieve, we take away our chance to enjoy the present moment.


Exercise: practice Abundance & Gratitude

‘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, looking at all ‘that’ we have instead of ‘that’ we think we are missing 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’ or make a list of all the things you feel grateful for and see how it affects your life. 


Asteya on the mat

Do you push yourself beyond healthy boundaries in your practice because you’re afraid of not being good enough? Even subconsciously, there’s usually a little part of us that starts out with the best of intentions, but then about half-way through class, begins to tempt us towards practicing for the way a posture ‘should’ look, instead of how it feels. 

When we continually focus on pushing ourselves just a little too far over that ‘edge’ in order to attain a posture, we not only rob ourselves of a sustainable and natural practice, but we rob ourselves of being able to be present with the posture and with ourselves for exactly the way things are in that moment.  

If we allow ourselves to be open and accepting to exactly how our practice is at that moment on the mat, we never need to feel as though we’re losing out if some asanas are a little out of reach at the moment. It is never the postures we are able to do that define our practice, but the amount of awareness we bring to them…. 

I personally LOVE this song and is so related to Asteya you probably know already know from my classes or outside of my classes. Turn up de volume en en J O Y:



 Bron: https://wanderlust.com, https://www.ekhartyoga.com