Stolen Moments, are you the thief?

sunsetClearly, stealing is not an activity that’s going to progress a spiritual practice. In the Yoga Sutra, a yogic text published many years ago, the third YAMA (recommended yogic way to live) is listed as ASTEYA. Asteya means “not stealing”. Keeping in mind that there are many ways to steal – from avoiding tram fares to simply being late to meet a friend and effectively stealing their valuable time – I’d like us to consider whether or not we practice Asteya in relation to ourselves.

I think one of the biggest Asteya ‘crimes’ is stealing experience. Stealing our own experience from our own selves by not being open to the moment as it unfolds. Like viewing a beautiful sunset and rather than relish the moment, getting caught up thinking about how this moment won’t last, fearing that you may never experience such a moment again – attempting to capture the moment in a photograph – all the while missing the beautiful, perfect moment.

In yoga practice, Asteya (not stealing) is all about openess. Open to what comes without grasping for more or taking what is not freely given. Being present and appreciating what we already have rather than wanting  something different.

A wonderful meditation to fine tune your ‘moment’ skills is this one. It develops your sensitivity to the moment. Through the practice of this meditation your aura expands, making you sensitive to the energy flow in any situation. Above all, the actual experience of doing the meditation is one that brings you right into yourself in that very perfect moment. With practice you can sit in this meditation for 22 minutes.


Sit with a straight spine.

Eyes: 9/10 shut with the gaze downward. Mentally, concentrate at the third eye.

Mudra: Gyan mudra (thumb and index finger touching).

Focus: Keeping the spine straight, begin releasing all the tension from the spine outward. Let each segment of the spine release and each area of the body relax.

Time: 22 mins. It will take about 11 minutes to release your tension. In the second 11 minutes all your intuitional capacities will be aroused.

Ref: Aquarian Age Teacher Training Manual.

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