Each of the article excerpts within this series will give you a sneak peek into the wonderful work created by Yogi and author, Melissa Lavery, whose complete book, The Yogic Lifestyle: A Foundation for Freedom is available at select distributors throughout the US as well as Amazon’s online bookstore.
All content excerpts are provided with permission by the publisher.
The book itself is organized into 3 parts and further divided into each of the 15 categories below:
The Yogic Lifestyle: A Foundation for Relationships
- Shanti: How to Maintain Personal Peace and Power in Relationships
- Yama: How to Eliminate Suffering and Cultivate a Better Relationship with the World
- Niyama: How to Cultivate a Better Relationship with Yourself and Commit to Personal Self-Care
- Pratipaksa Bhavana: How to Navigate Conflicting World-views and Build Relationships with Anyone
- Samadhi: How the Inner Journey Toward Self Will Bring You Closer to the Divine Consciousness
The Yogic Lifestyle: A Foundation for Health
- Asana: The Health Benefits of a Physical Practice (On and Off the Mat)
- Pranayama: How to Maintain Health Through Breath Awareness
- Samyama: How to Travel the Meditative Path to Health and Wellness
- Nidra: How to Improve Your Sleep Quality to Enhance Health and Wellness
- Sauca: How Cleanliness Paves the Path to Holistic Health
The Yogic Lifestyle: A Foundation for Abundance
- Klesa: How to Eliminate Ego’s Control and Cultivate an Identity that Attracts Abundance
- Satya: How Authenticity Leads to Attracting Abundance
- Astreya: How to Practice Non-Stealing to Attract Wealth and Abundance
- Aparigraha: How the Practice of Non-Hoarding Can Benefit Your Wallet and Illumniate Your Path
- Sadhana: How Consistent Practice Creates a Strong Foundation for an Abundant Life
Astreya: How to Practice Non-Stealing to Attract Wealth and Abundance
Stealing seems like a simple act. A person takes possession of an object that belongs to someone else, either by force or through cunning, Theft and robbery affect the collective economy and individual victims, leaving behind loss, mistrust, and trauma. But stealing doesn’t have to be outright and obvious to affect both victim and culprit. Stealing includes many more actions, little dishonest behaviors that not only hurt others but negatively impact your ability to attract wealth.
Most often, we are not aware of our thievery. Common and unconscious theft can include the following:
- Running an errand or taking a break on company time
- Taking office supplies for personal use
- Consistently being late for meetings and events
- Keeping an object that you find, rather than find its owner
- Taking advantage of someone else’s generosity
- Maintaining attachments to unused items
These are simple situations that range from serious issues to what seem like benign behaviors however, when we steal time and resources, we not only hurt others, but we block the flow of abundance coming to ourselves. And stealing can take other forms, forms that don’t necessarily have to do with time and materials. Anytime we rob ourselves and others of joy, peace, or safety, we are also stealing.
There are many ways in which we take. By practicing yoga, we can become more aware of our own actions and work toward non-stealing behaviors in all we do. This step can lead to a clearer heart-mind and can open us up toward giving and receiving in ways the unconscious mind has never imagined.
What is Asteya and How Can We Practice It?
As stated in a previous chapter, asteya is the third yama (restraint) in the eight limbs of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga. Again, the yamas consist of non-violence (ahiṁsā), truthfulness (satya), non-stealing (asteya), conservation of energy (brahmacharya), and non-hoarding (aparigrahā). These practices are the pinnacle of preparing one’s heart, mind, and spirit to live a “cleaner” life and finding one’s way toward ultimate unity (the purpose of yoga).
In Sanskrit, asteya refers to the act of “non-stealing.” This yama considers all actions—thought, word, and deed—that involve theft. Every day, we act in ways that deprive others and ourselves. Every action elicits a reaction, whether the theft leads to legal trouble, mistrust, or limiting means and opportunities for wealth.
If caught, stealing can lead to legal troubles, which are costly and time consuming. You can lose your job. You can have a difficult time finding future work. You can pay thousands of dollars in fines and lawyers’ fees. You can go to jail. If your behavior goes unchecked, it can still have powerful ramifications on your ability to accumulate wealth. When you limit others around you, you steal from yourself. Fewer resources for others leads to their own desperation. What they don’t have, they can’t give. In the same way, giving lends to more giving.
Money and Material Resources as Energy
First, it is important to understand that everything is energy, and this includes money and material objects. For abundance to flow to you, however you define it, you must be an open and reciprocal vessel for this energy. When we live in a state of mind that takes with malign intentions, we restrict the flow of benign blessings to us. Here are some examples of how hurting others through stealing negatively impacts our ability to attract wealth:
- When we steal time from an employer, we limit their productivity, which in turn cuts into their profit. If they do not make a profit, they cannot share their wealth with you.
- When we take supplies from an employer without repayment, they again lose money. This lost money cannot find its way into your paycheck.
- When we are continuously late for events, we can miss out on valuable information, and chance meetings and opportunities. We may even lose respect, being unreliable.
- If we find an object and keep it as our own, we are limiting the generosity of the original owner (think rewards and gratitude). We cannot expect people to return our lost possessions if we do not honor other people’s property.
- If someone lets you borrow an item, takes care of you in any way, or provides you with a valuable service, it is good to accept that gift. But if you allow that person to consistently do so without reciprocity, you can diminish their spirit of generosity and their resources.
- If you keep an object beyond your use for it, you keep it from other people. By clinging to such items, you steal space from yourself, create an unhealthy emotional attachment to temporary material, and prevent others in need from harvesting the benefits of these resources.
Now, it is equally important to remember that each of us are only able to give what we have. Reciprocation is not a matter of “even” exchange (which can devalue giving), but it is a matter of recognition and sharing our individual gifts when they are needed. Stealing time and resources, and focusing on taking without giving, creates a stagnant flow of energy. In this stuck energy, we find ourselves feeling deprived, even if we are the beneficiaries. Why do people take without thoughts of giving? Because they feel as if they lack something. They may take out of revenge, fear, or desperation. Regardless of the reason, this action only serves to deplete.
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… to continue reading from this chapter of The Yogic Lifestyle: A Foundation for Freedom please visit and order from the book’s page on Amazon.com. Again, we hope you found this valuable and wish you health and happiness along your journey. Namaste.