The Third Yama- Asteya


A-The opposite of
Steya- theft



Desire or want is the root cause for stealing

    Swami Sivananda


Non-stealing. A lack of desire. True contentment. By being content with your current state of being, you eliminate desire and want.

Asteya is often translated to mean non-stealing. While this yama may appear to be the most self-explanatory.  However, the true meaning of this yama delves so much deeper than the surface, physical aspect of taking from others that which is not yours. Stealing something physical from someone else is a reflection of asteya, but you can also steal someone’s time, someone’s energy, or someone’s ideas. In recognizing these occurrences when they happen, you are gaining the awareness to live free from theft.

Have you ever been robbed of your time? Has an unexpected, unwanted visitor ever approached you then chatted your ear off, either to sell you something, or just to vent? This is a common happening in today’s society. Venting has been acknowledged as a natural, healthy habit. But as we learned through the first two yamas, habits are powerful things. Start to notice if you vent too frequently, especially to the same person, and then try and change your approach. There are many ways to release frustration, anger and other unpleasant emotions including but not limited to yoga, crying, running, or screaming at the top of your lungs into a pillow.

The biggest takeaway point for me from this yama is contentment.  The root of all desire is a lack of contentment. It is an inability to be grateful for what you have, presently. By practicing mindfulness, staying present, and gratitude every day, one will start to see a shift from want to have; from desire to contentment.  A simple exercise I’ve added to my nightly routine is to go over my day in my head, and list at least 3 things, people, or events that I am grateful for. I invite you to participate in this exercise for the next week, and possibly beyond.