By Beth Franklin, RYT 200

Asteya is a Sanskrit word that means "non-stealing." It's one of the 10 yamas and niyamas of yoga -- ethical guidelines that yogis strive to embody and practice on and off the mat. And like most yogi-centric ideas; it has several layers of meaning and depth.  Asteya is very similar to the 8th commandment “Thou shall not steal” It has been said that all “sin” is really a form of stealing. Murder is stealing someone’s life.  Lying is stealing someone’s trust etc. Asteya has many layers. The very basic and plain to see to the deeper and more elusive.  It includes any form of misappropriation, and our ability to resist the desire for that which we have not earned. Yoga is a process of self-responsibility and expanding our capacity to be self-reflective. 

Yoga is a science, and our work is based on a process of self research. When viewing Asteya in this way, it becomes obvious that the answer to this misappropriation is effort. Once we become adept and insightful in our personal interpretations of the science of yoga, it becomes a true labor of love.

To align ourselves with the principle of Asteya, renders us trustworthy and dependable, and is basic in our willingness to be a conscious and moral citizen of society. Mutual respect is created when we treat others how we would want to be treated, and frees us from the illusion of ownership. So when we truly align ourselves with Asteya all the gems present themselves.  These are promises of eternal wisdom, diligence, patience, honor, and contentment.  The lesson from Asteya is we are already enough and when we really know that in our hearts the promised gems will be ours.