Asteya can be translated to mean ‘non-stealing’. We’re all acutely aware of how harmful and damaging stealing is. But as with all things yoga, when we permeate down to a deeper meaning the lines can become very blurred. What does asteya mean in our thought processes and our subtle actions though?
Well, it’s easy to feel lacking when we’re surrounded by messages of constantly needing to upgrade, whether it’s our phone or our car, or our vegetables in the supermarket, the messaging around us suggests that we need more, cultivating or reinforcing a feeling of ‘lacking’ within us. For many of us we may be able to balance these messages and not be drawn in. But it may be that we end up working harder or longer than we are reasonably comfortable with to get what we think we need. It may mean that we take on debt, essentially using money we haven’t got and increasing pressure on ourselves to provide more.
It may simply mean that we stretch ourselves thin, emotionally and physically to gain something we believe will make us feel better. However, if we turn our attention away from what’s outside of us for just a moment and begin to notice all that we have, cultivating a sense of thankfulness for all that we have then we start to feel that longed for feeling of true satisfaction. The feeling that we have enough, we do enough and that we are enough. Practiced regularly, gratitude can leave us feeling abundant. It’s from this place that we become truly able to give and receive our time, energy and finances in a sustainable and balanced way.
Take asteya off the mat today: Begin to pay attention to all that you have however small or insignificant you perceive it to be, health, happiness, finances, home, relationships, food. The more you notice what you have the greater your feelings of abundance and gratitude will be.