“asteya pratisthayam sarva ratna upasthanam”

When non-stealing (asteya) is established, all jewels, or treasures present themselves, or are available to the Yogi.

Yoga Sutra 2.37

In Sanskrit – A = not, Steya = stealing. This Yama is concerned with not taking that which does not belong to us. The concept extends further than just stealing or taking a possession. We should not use something for a different purpose than was intended or use something for longer than intended by its owner. We should honour the person who confides in us, by not taking advantage of ones trust. We should not take anything that is not freely given. This includes someone’s time and their ideas.

Another aspect of Asteya is asking us to work toward letting go of desiring or craving what another person has, the kind of jealousy that can lead to discontentment and even unskilled action. It is said that the Yogi desires one thing only – to adore the divine. The divine is God, nature, your neighbour, and animals and oneself – union with the universe is what the Yogi craves. Nothing more. How could you apply Asteya in your life?