When I’m teaching the five (ethical principles of Yoga), I often feel a little stumped with conveying the practical application of (one of the principles) Asteya (pronounced “uh-stay-uh”), known as “non-stealing”. Most of us think we have that one nailed. Of course, I know not to steal! But the subtle and less obvious applications of Asteya show up in all areas of our life, on and off the mat.

Stealing, according to Webster’s dictionary, means “to take or appropriate without permission, dishonestly, especially in a secret or surreptitious manner”. We steal when we don’t have the means to purchase, the capability to produce (as in ideas or copywritten materials), or when we have the belief that we could not otherwise gain or possess what is desired by honest means. We steal when we feel a lack or a void and are desperate to fill it, be it in our stomach, our closet, or our pride. Stealing encompasses everything from the simple swiping of a loaf of bread to distracting attention away from the one who merited it.
Who Me, Stealing? — by Constance Habash