Asteya, the third Yama; it's best if thou doesn't steal
The third of the yama jewels is asteya, the practice of non-stealing and, again, it asks us to look at subtleties in our lives where we could bring a better balance.
Deborah Adele says in her book "Yamas and Niyamas; Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice" (have I mentioned I love this book?!) we steal from the earth, from others and from ourselves. Breathing the air, eating and using the earth's resources without giving much back is most definitely something we could all make a conscious effort with. Can you recycle more? Can you buy ethically sourced produce? Can you use less harmful chemicals around the house? Even the smallest of changes from each of us would make the most dramatic difference to our planet.
An aspect of asteya that has really stayed with me after reading this book is the fact that we steal from our own opportunity. Every time we listen to our internal critic telling us we might not be good enough.
It's a wonderful thing to be a better person than we were yesterday but it's also really important to know that actually, we are good enough. Every decision has brought us to the person we are now. Even the bad decisions or the rough times in our lives help us to develop and grow, and we're always developing and growing.
I recently invited my classes to consider asteya. Think of somebody who loves you completely and think of the reasons they love you. Do you always offer them a smile at the end of a busy day? Are you the creator of the best Sunday lunch on the planet? Are you amazing at keeping someone organised? Take a moment to step into their shoes and see your qualities through their eyes and realise that yes, you are pretty amazing.
It goes without saying to not let anybody steal your sparkle, you are unique in a world of millions, but please allow yourself to shine like the superstar you are and allow the superstars around you to shine too.