Truthfulness (Satya)

Truth – Satya

Most of us tell the truth to others most of the time, but there are times when it takes effort!  There are situations where it is so much easier to bend the truth and tell a lie.  Since kindness is the overarching principle of the Yamas and Niyamas an argument can be made for colouring the truth to save unkindness.  Here’s the hard part…are you not being truthful in order to be kind or are you acting through convenience, annoyance or to avoid repercussion?

Truth extends beyond words, to deeds and thoughts.  Our thoughts are coloured by all our experiences, and particularly what others have told us our truths are.  Perhaps we have taken over that narrative in our self-talk and convince ourselves of “truths” that are well past their use-by dates.

Practising Satya is learning to distinguish clear observations from our coloured interpretations.

During Yoga practice.

  • Be honest with yourself in your asana without harsh judgement (recalling the respect we discussed last week last week).
  • Be vigilant of unhelpful body habits which we take into postures , so called “release valves”, being used to move away from the intention of the asana. This is then being ”honest” to the intention of the asana. eg, practice trikonasana and observing if we bring the arm too far down the leg such that the under ribs crumple and compromise the length and openness of the torso.
  • Notice the breath as a monitor of the simultaneous Strength (Sthira) and Ease (Sukha)in what we are doing, to see if we are being ”honest” with our personal boundaries and limitations.

Off the mat

*When you do not speak the complete truth next time, catch yourself and notice the feeling in your body (eg contraction or rigidness, perhaps jaw clenching). Noticing this without judgment, just observing sensations, contractions or any feelings.