8 Limbs of Yoga, Yoga Sutras

Asteya : Non-Stealing

The literal meaning of Asteya is non-stealing.  When I first read that I thought, it doesn’t sound very exciting.  I don’t steal, what’s the big deal. But upon further exploration of the subject it is so much more.

We all get the concept of going into a store taking something that isn’t ours and walking do not stealout without paying.  But is it stealing when we are late for an appointment? Someone has set aside part of their day for us and we choose to show up late.  Yes I would say that is stealing.  Also, it makes it hard to have open communication when someone has not shown up at the appointed time.  How do you feel when you have to wait for someone.  Another consideration, if I continually push myself to do more than is healthy for my body, whether it be to much exercise or feeding it too much food am I stealing my own health?  Or, perhaps I choose not to exercise at all, either way there is not balance.

Kaye (6)There needs to be give and take, there needs to be balance.  I give to others and I receive from other.  Our challenge is to create balance. What about “it is better to give than to receive?”  For me this statement infers that one is better than the other, I don’t believe that statement to be true, for balance we need both, giving and receiving.  Asteya means  “non-stealing” and refers to a natural balance of giving and receiving within all of our interactions and activities.

 In our lives we have many occasions to give.  In the simplest way Asteya tells us not to give and receivesteal.  As we expands our heart, it becomes more open to giving.  For maximum benefit do not ever wait for someone to ask, be alert and never miss an opportunity to give.

Asteya is the recognition of the value of life we have received by using all our talents and possibilities for our own good, for our families and communities and for awakening to our life’s deeper meaning.

Material Exchange

At the most basic level Asteya involves fairness in our material exchanges.  Reflect on your balance of giving and receiving within your financial dealings.  Ask yourself if there is a natural fairness and integrity between that which you give and that which you receive.  Visualize yourself receiving all you need to support your life journey,  and sense your natural reciprocity, giving with fairness and generosity.

Personal Relationships

relationshipAsteya is also important within our personal relationships.  Reflect on your level of balance within your relationships.  Ask yourself if there is a natural fairness of giving and receiving in terms of your investment of quality time and emotional energy.  Visualize the abundant love and support you receive and affirm your ability to share love and friendship wholeheartedly.

Community  

Asteya is important in our communities.  Reflect on the balance of giving and receiving within your community, sensing your level of natural fairness in relation to all those that contribute to your well being.  community 2Visualize yourself open to receive the support of your community, and then affirm your intention to reach out to serve with an open heart, especially to those that are most in need.  Asteya magnifies our experience of prosperity or abundance, making it easier to give generously to others.  When our hearts are open generosity is easy.

Our Planet

Non-stealing also encompasses our ecological “footprint” on the planet, reminding us to100_2127 use natural resources consciously in order to maintain global balance and harmony.

Consider your level of balance giving and receiving within the natural world, reflect on your level of gratitude for everything you receive in your in relation with your natural surroundings.  Recognize nature’s bounty and beauty, and envision yourself returning the gift by consciously supporting the natural world’s inherent harmony.

Asteya is the recognition of the value of life we have received by using all our talents and possibilities for our own good, for our families and communities and for awakening to our life’s deeper meaning.

Asteya

A natural fairness

In all my activities

Allows me to live

In complete harmony

 

GUIDED MEDITATION – BALANCED GIVING AND RECEIVING

hastaphulaHold the hands, slightly cupped, in front of the solar plexus, with the palms facing upward.

The forearms are parallel to the earth.

The hands pulse slightly away from each other with each inhalation, and rest back toward each other on each exhalation.

Relax the shoulders back and down, with the spine naturally aligned.

If your comfortable close your eyes or look down at a point in front of you.

♦  As you hold Hastaphula mudra, take several natural breaths to attune to all the feelings and sensation evoked by this gesture.

♦  Notice how your breath is gently directed into your solar plexus, allowing you to attune more deeply to your center of personal power and energy.

♦  With each inhalation, sense gentle warmth radiating outward from the solar plexus, and with each exhaling breath, allow this area to soften inward and rest.

♦  Take several breaths to sense your inhalation and exhalation lengthening evenly, cultivating a sense of balanced giving and receiving at all levels of your being.

♦  Begin by reflecting on your balance of giving and receiving within your financial dealings.  Ask yourself if there is a natural fairness and integrity between that which you give and that which you receive.

♦  With your inhalation, visualize yourself receiving all you need to support your life journey, and as you exhale, sense your natural reciprocity, giving with fairness and generosity.

♦  Take several breaths to reflect on your level of balance within your relationships.  Ask yourself if there is a natural fairness of giving and receiving in terms of your investment of quality time and emotional energy.

♦  With your inhalation, visualize the abundant love and support you receive and as you exhale, affirm your ability to share love and friendship wholeheartedly.

♦  Now take several breaths to reflect on the balance of giving and receiving within your community, sensing your level of natural fairness in relation to all those that contribute to your well being.

♦  With your inhalation, open to receive the support of your community, and as you exhale, affirm your intention to reach out to serve with an open heart, especially to those that are most in need.

♦  Now, sense your level of balance giving and receiving within the natural world, reflect on your level of gratitude for everything you receive in your in relation with your natural surroundings.

♦  With your inhalation, recognize nature’s bounty and beauty, and as you exhale envision yourself returning the gift by consciously supporting the natural world’s inherent harmony.

♦  Now, take some time to sense the even flow of your breathing and your natural balance of giving and receiving within all your interactions and ativities.

♦  Affirm your integrity, repeating the following three times, aloud or silently:

Through balanced giving and receiving

I live in complete integrity.

♦  Slowly release the gesture, taking several breaths to affirm your natural fairness.

♦  When you are ready, open your eyes, returning slowly and gently, affirming your ability to balance giving and receiving.

Our world encourages us to achieve more, amass more and yet most of us feel we are lacking in many aspects of our life.  Asteya has the power to initiate us into material and spiritual prosperity beyond our greatest expectations.

Natural balance of giving and receiving within all our interactions and activities

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Sources used to write this article:♦

Guided mediation and mudra taken from “Mudras for Healing and Transformation” by Joseph and Lillian Le Page,

Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi, pages 189-193

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