We learn about cheating at school. We know copying someone else’s homework right before the lesson is wrong, but sometimes you get away with having ‘done the work’. Then, by extension, we learn about plagiarism and copyright infringement; it’s wrong to take someone else’s work and pass it off as our own.
But what’s the stance on stealing sequence and yoga lesson ideas from other teachers? Is this as bad as plagiarism and cheating? There’s no doubt about it that yogic stealing happens. One of the founding principles of yoga is asteya – or non-stealing. The third of Patanjali’s yamas, asteya is also the urge to covet what another has. We might want the charisma of another teacher, the smooth teaching style, the easy grace. But that is not ours to take. What we can take are their ideas.
So how do we sort out the ethics of yogic stealing? (more…)