Asteya, the third of the Yamas is most simply defined as not-stealing. At first blush this seems like an easy one (no robbery, check!) But like the other Yamas & Niyamas its true meaning goes much deeper. Asteya is more than not physically taking something from someone else.
The root cause of this impulse to steal, both the explicit taking that which is not ours, and the far more subtle forms that most of us are more vulnerable to, is a visceral feeling of desire or want, a “not-enoughness”.
When we notice this sense of lacking- whether in our possessions, achievements, Yoga practice, (perhaps even in our social media likes?!) these feelings of not-enoughness create a void and we begin to search for something to fill that void.
There are of course many people for whom material needs are substantial. But for many of us, more often than not that void is not fulfilled even when we get “that thing”. The coveted item, or the perfect headstand, or the next like doesn’t relieve that feeling for long, if at all.
How do we make ourselves aware of that “desire impulse” rather than succumb to it? As always, it is a practice. A continual commitment to the reality that we have, and we are , enough. When we commit to consciously bringing our attention to all that we have, both inside and out, the impulse to “steal” and the sense of void that creates it is diminished, and we can appreciate the abundance of the present moment