Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yama: Satya (truthfulness)

In part 2 of our series on the Yamas & Niyamas (check out part 1 here), we focus on Satya, or truthfulness. Again, on the face of it, Satya seems simple: don’t lie. And that’s a great place to start. Years ago, I realized that only bad things came when I lied, and in response, I made a conscious choice to stop any and all lies. While I’m not perfect with it, not lying has become a part of who I am today, and it has definitely changed my life for the better. If you find that lying has become a problem for you, I encourage you to actively work to change that habit.

But Satya carries more than simply not lying. It involves being honest with others, and honest with ourselves. When we’re truly honest with others, there’s no half-truths, there’s no hiding. I don’t suggest you go around hurting others with unkind (although possibly true) words. But to be honest with others involves doing what we say we’ll do. Honoring our words, by following-up with actions. I struggle with this. Not because I mean to, but I’m simply forgetful. My practice now, has become to get organized, so I can more easily follow-up with correct actions.

What about being honest with yourself? This is often hard. In your yoga practice, are you honest with where your body wants to be? Or do you allow your ego to push you into believing a lie? Are you honest with how you’re feeling emotionally? Often, I come to the mat, ready to work hard, only to realize that emotionally, I just can’t take that. Finally, are you honest with yourself about who you are and what you want out of life? Do you speak what is true about you? Or do you allow fear, social constraints, and other outside worries hold you back?

What is true? How can you live in a way that speaks in truth this week?

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