Yoga is a process of turning focus INWARD to find peace, freedom and fulfillment.
So, if you are a yogi and you find yourself stealing other people's stuff, it strongly suggests that you are searching for fulfillment in the wrong place - the EXTERNAL world. When your yogic values are in order, adding to your pile of stuff just isn't a priority. Especially when it involves stealing, which violates the first two principles of practice - it's harmful and dishonest.
Asteya is about not stealing things, sure. It is also about valuing things appropriately. Our actions are determined by our thoughts. Where we spend our resources like attention, energy and money and the way we interact with others is a reflection of our values.
The yogic prescription for peace and freedom involves loosening our attachments to material things so we can pursue fulfillment within.
“You can’t even see the real yoga.” -D Swenson
Here are some ways you might practice asteya - both on and off the mat:
Affirmation/Intention: 'I acknowledge the value of things.'
Supportive Breath/ Mudra: Shanmukhi Mudra and Bramhari/Bumblebee breath (swipe for video) to focus attention internally
On the Mat: recognize that the value of yoga postures is not in creating the shapes themselves. Poses are a tool to help you practice mindfulness, focus and presence in the moment.
Off the Mat: practice recognizing the value of non-material things: time, energy, health, loving and harmonious relationships, engaging in meaningful activity, having a sense of purpose.
Also, don’t steal stuff.
Amanda Tripp, Yoga/body nerd and woman of a 1000 opinions