I hope you all have a good holiday season, whichever holiday you celebrate, and that 2020 is treating you well so far.
I'm continuing my dive into the Yamas with the third Yama, Asteya. Asteya is a Sanskrit word, meaning non-stealing. As with the other Yamas I've covered with you so far, there is the surface level meaning, and something a bit deeper.
In terms of the surface level meaning, it's pretty obvious! Non-stealing means exactly that, don't take someone's belongings without their permission. This covers, for me anyway, not only their physical belongings, but their mental belongings - for example their ideas or opinions and passing them off as your own.
Asteya can also cover hoarding or coveting. Hoarding of resources that you don't necessarily need, hoarding of resources that others are in need of, or mindlessly consuming natural resources especially if they are finite.
However...something deeper lurks beneath the surface. One of the most irreversible things we can steal from someone is time. Time is something that none of us can ever get back once it is gone, the most precious resource we have. This can range from the obvious, like not standing someone one, to the less obvious.
Have you ever told someone a long, rambling story when you could tell it in half the time? Or asked them for help when you can Google the answer? How about turning up late? All of these steal time from other people, time they can never get back. You might think a 10 minute story instead of a 5 minute one isn't a big deal, and in many ways it isn't, but it is still stealing time from those people.
One other thing that I personally find to be a huge their of time is when people don't lay out their boundaries, rules, processes and so on at the start - I end up part of the way through something before realising it isn't right for me, or I can't fulfil the request due to conflicts in schedules, rules, needs etc. If I had known these at the start, then I would not have wasted my own time, or that of the other people involved. Now, them not being clear at the beginning isn't necessarily intended or malicious, and it is equally not intentional or malicious when I have done the same in return, but it is a thief of my time and the time of others when we are not clear from the outset.
The same can also be said about changing our minds part of the way through a process, especially if this change will cause a lot of issues or stress for the other person. This isn't always avoidable obviously, but it is definitely worthwhile thinking things through to begin with and laying out our decisions clearly to everyone concerned.
However, one of the biggest thief of time I have seen, and continue to struggle with at times, is wishing our time away, letting our mind wander and not truly being present in the moment. If we are present in the moment, we are truly appreciating where we are, truly appreciating the time and moment we have. Once our mind wanders, or we start wishing our lives away, we start to miss our lives, miss the time we have.
What are your thoughts on Asteya? Do you find it more or less challenging than someone of the other Yamas? Possibly you find them all equally challenging - I know there are parts of each I definitely have to work at! I'm interested in hearing what you guys think - leave a comment or hit me up on Instagram and Facebook to let me know.
I'm a yoga fanatic who been practising yoga for 22 years and teaching for almost 4. I'm quite spiritual, a bit of a hippy to be honest, and love discussing theoretical aspects of yoga as well as the practical elements. You'll find articles on how yoga benefits my life on both a physical, mental and emotional level, as well as how it can help you - as well as some non-yoga related articles just to keep you on your toes!