asteya in action
posted: July 8, 2013
The artwork above is part of our shopper series exploring the yamas and is in stores now. To introduce you to the concept of Asteya a little more, we asked people from around lululemon how they practice (or don’t practice) it.
what is asteya?
Literally translated as “non-stealing/non-coveting” or “avoidance of stealing /coveting”, the yama of Asteya (ush-TAY-uh) asks that we take only what is offered and use only what we need. The practice of Asteya emphasizes interconnectedness and teaches us that our actions have repercussions – some that we see; most that we do not. Through Asteya, we learn that when we take what is not offered, we show a lack of respect for others. When we take more than we need, we leave less for everyone else.
To fully understand Asteya, it helps to think about the source of “stealing/coveting” behavior. Stealing, or the desire to take from someone else, is based in a feeling of lack, and sometimes originates from a sense of entitlement – a feeling or belief that we deserve something that we have not yet earned. The root of the behavior is a belief that one’s own wants and needs are more important than those of others. This self-importance, selfishness, and sense of entitlement can manifest as negative behaviors.
When we choose to practice Asteya, we attract abundance in our lives because we no longer desire things that exist outside ourselves. We no longer feel the sense of entitlement that can drive us towards stealing and coveting behaviors. We learn through Asteya that everything we need in life is already within us.