ASTEYA=NON-STEALING July 10 2015
Being firmly rooted in ahimsa (non-violence) and satya (truthfulness), we can progress deeper into the yamas (ethical practices) of the first limb of ashtanga (8 limb) yoga's path of awesomeness.
#3 is ASTEYA (non-stealing)
"To be established in non-stealing, all wealth comes." Sutra 2.37
How this resonates with me is that when you know what you want, its yours- because it comes from your truth (satya) not someones else's- or societies demand or your parents expectation, etc. But I think the obvious translation of it is, "Don't be a dick and take shit you don't deserve." The word deserve means "to come from service" - to show the quality of being worthy of having something. So don't take what you don't deserve I think is a pretty easy translation of this yama. Because I think it can come across a little to light sometimes like, "don't be a thief." Duh, there are laws for that and shit. This yama runs deep in how we relate to the world and the energy we create in it.
This is a world of bright and shiny objects- and as a society we are very much taught to "buy" our way to happiness and that "stuff" is the goal. But asteya rightfully teaches us that enough is enough, especially when there are so many deserving people out there that are struggling.
Remember that all limbs are rooted in ahimsa. So from a place of non-violence we no longer live in fear based behavior- we then can hear our true selves and begin to communicate our truth. As we set out on the path of living it, we will encounter the act of giving and receiving and that is where asteya comes in. Practice asteya by not taking what you don't deserve, and watch your compulsions around how much you take. And this isn't just the 3 hot dogs at the BBQ when you really only should have had one, its don't speak over someone else, don't waist someones time, don't take credit for ideas that aren't yours, and don't "expect" so much all the time.
The gift this asteya gives us is that when taking into practice, we realize that from satya (truthfulness) what is ours is easily shown to us, its is easily attained, and its is exactly what we need, when we need it- we can finally live asteya (non-stealing) in a way that isn't so clouded by survival and media messages and desperation.
Being a thief is part of being human, we steal from nature all the time- its unavoidable. But we can find balance in that by being of service to others.
Yoga teaches us that even though we want to save the whole world, the best thing we can do is just to start with ourselves- the world inside of us that we live. There we find real freedom.