ASTEYA Non-stealing

Asteya – the third Yama – translates to “non-stealing”, yet its essence goes beyond refraining from physically taking from others. It’s about cultivating a sense of abundance and contentment within ourselves, so we don’t feel the need to take from others.

When non-stealing is established, all jewels present themselves or are obtained.


This Yoga sutra illustrates that practicing Asteya, refraining from stealing or coveting what belongs to others, naturally attracts abundance and prosperity into your life. But why do people feel compelled to steal in the first place?

The root cause : “I’m not good enough.”

The impulse to steal often stems from a sense of lack within ourselves. When we feel incomplete, desires and greed arise, leading us to believe others possess what we are lacking. Yet, the essence of Yoga, meaning ‘union’ or becoming ‘whole’, reminds us of our innate completeness.

Material possessions, incapable of filling this void, perpetuate a cycle of craving as we attempt to satiate emotional needs with material wealth. Our relentless pursuit of possessions only deepens our sense of lack. Obviously these material possessions can’t replace whatever it is our soul really needs. True contentment arises from acknowledging abundance within, not from external acquisitions.

In each moment, we can experience a range of emotions and sensations, yet we only cling to to the pleasant ones while trying to avoid discomfort. This clinging out of desire ultimately creates more suffering. Continually running around in circles after experiences which bring us only pleasure keeps us locked in a cycle of wanting and desiring. Even when we feel content, there’s always that small part of us that worries about what might happen if we lose this feeling, person, possession, or experience. By attempting to feel only the ‘good’, we ignore the other half of life completely. Embracing both light and dark experiences allows us to feel whole and fully engage with life. Instead of labeling situations as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, we can accept them as they are. Embracing discomfort enables us to find fulfillment and liberation from craving, leading to a more enriching human experience.

Practical ways to practice Asteya

  • Embrace abundance by acknowledging that you are enough and have enough. Cultivate gratitude for the abundance already present in your life. A grateful heart doesn’t feel the need to take more.
  • Trust your creativity and resourcefulness. Rely on your capabilities to figure things out rather than turning to external sources or taking from others.
  • Recognize and honor your talents, as undervaluing them is like stealing from your own growth. Share them generously, knowing your wellspring of abilities is limitless.
  • Prioritize quality over quantity and avoid impulsive purchases to practice mindful consumption. Declutter possessions and reassess consumption habits to focus on what truly matters. When feelings of lack arise, cultivate contentment and fulfillment within yourself by repeating the mantra ‘I am enough’.
  • Give credit where it’s due and express gratitude freely. Acknowledge others’ contributions, share compliments, and allow them to shine. Trust that your efforts and attitude will be enough, rather than chasing the spotlight.
  • Avoid manipulation and guilt-tripping others to give you what you want. Respect their emotions and autonomy.
  • Avoid the pitfalls of envy and competition, cultivating a mindset of collaboration and shared success. Draw inspiration from the success of others, leveraging their achievements as motivation for your own goals.
  • Measure your progress against your own potential and growth trajectory, rather than comparing yourself to others. Focus on your unique journey and achievements, embracing continuous improvement and development.
  • Be transparent in your business dealings. Disclose all relevant information to stakeholders, clients, and partners. Avoid hiding information or deceiving others for personal gain.
  • Recognize that there is enough success to go around and pursue win-win opportunities in business partnerships. Build business eco-systems for co-creation leading to collaborative advantage and shared abundance rather than cutthroat competition.
  • Pay fair prices for products and services. Ensure your employees receive fair wages and benefits. Fair compensation acknowledges the value of others’ work.
  • Avoid deceptive or manipulative marketing tactics. Present your products or services honestly, without exaggeration or false promises. Build trust with your audience through authenticity and integrity.
  • Respect others’ time by being punctual and honoring commitments. Avoid wasting others’ time through procrastination or inefficiency. Effective time management shows consideration for others’ schedules and priorities.
  • Respect the personal boundaries of others in terms of time, space, and personal information. Avoid intruding on others’ privacy or overstepping boundaries in professional relationships.
  • Invest in your own education and personal growth rather than trying to take shortcuts or steal others’ achievements. Embrace a mindset of continuous learning and improvement to achieve success through your own efforts.
  • Support causes and initiatives that align with your values. Giving back to the community is a way to express gratitude for the opportunities you’ve received and contribute positively to society.

By integrating these practical strategies into your professional and personal endeavors, you can cultivate a culture of integrity, abundance, and respect, driving sustainable success and fulfillment as a conscious leader & entrepreneur.

Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.