Asteya – The Yogic Principle of Non-Stealing

The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed” – Mahatma Gandhi

Nothing can describe the yogic principle of Asteya in a better way than this statement above. It states the world has enough to fulfill everyone’s need. But stealing what others need would lead to shortage.

So, you might ask –

What is Asteya?

Asteya is the third aspect of the eight limbed yogic path as described by Sage Patanjali. It refers to non-stealing.

According to Asteya, happiness does not come from stealing other’s possession. In Asteya, you have to practice self-restraint by not taking what does not belongs to you.

Practicing this yogic principle goes farther than the physical activity of stealing. In short, you have to practice Asteya in action, words, and thoughts.

Asteya of Action

You take the physical posession of another person with force.

Asteya of Words

Misleading or manipulating words that steal the goodwill of others. Join a certified YTT school to learn and practice this yogic principle.

Asteya of Thoughts

Stealing ideas of intellectual property. You have to let go of thoughts of greed and covetousness.

In yogic tradition, the principle of Asteya is more of a moral code rather than a legal code. It is an integral part of yoga practice to help you build a good moral character.

Let us understand a bit about the root cause of Asteya.

Root Cause of Asteya

Do you wonder – What is it that makes a person snatch other’s possessions? Why does anyone resort to stealing?

The reason are our uncontrolled greed, jealousy, fear, mental exhaustion and ego. But, these are not the root cause of Asteya.

The root cause of Asteya is the innate feeling of lack residing deep inside your soul. It is what gives birth to an unhealthy obsession over a want or desire. Failure to fulfill that want or desire leads to stealing it. The 200 hour yoga teacher training can help you get rid of this bad habit and develop the resilience to fight it.

Do you know that practicing Asteya brings about a massive change in your personality? Keep reading to know how that happens.

Personality Development and Asteya

Inculcating Asteya into your daily life is a lifetime process. This causes many internal changes in you.

With that said, given below are the changes that occur in your personality.

  • become a generous contributor to your society
  • You start to respect the commitment of time
  • You become free of unnecessary stress and anxiety
  • Your mind and body enter into a calm state
  • You become conscious of your social and environmental surrounding

A certified YTT school can help you make Asteya a part of your daily life.

For Asteya to become a part of your being, there are a few simple philosophies you can practice.

Philosophies to Develop Asteya

There are 3 simple philosophies you should practice to inculcate Asteya in your life.

1. Be Generous

The light eliminates darkness. Likewise, being generous eliminates the need to steal. Stealing and generosity are opposites to each other. Asteya states that you should develop the habit of giving, sharing, and help others.

2. Sustainable Resource Gathering

The philosophy which completes the idea of plenty is that of Sustainability. The world has abundant resources, but not unlimited. But, when everyone starts to hoard there would not be enough for the future generations. Failure to check this will lead to the extinction of future generations.

Asteya states that you should be wise when it comes to gathering and usage of world resources. You should enroll in the 200 hour yoga teacher training to learn more about this yogic principle.

3. Develop the Habit of Self-Contentment

Self-Contentment is a powerful emotion. It introduces you to inner peace and removes all sense of lack. This is also the preliminary need for you to practice Asteya. Self-contentment requires you to appreciate what you have.


Want to feel that sense of inner fulfilment? Join a certified YTT school to understand the yogic principle of Asteya under the guidance of experienced yoga teachers.

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