The Yoga Rant is taking a step away from asana to look at the Yamas and Niyamas, which are the behavioral and internal practices of yoga. Last week we covered ahimsa, or non-violence. This week, we'll have a look at Yama #2, Satya.
The Second Yama: Satya
Satya translates to "truthfulness." This one seems pretty easy. Most of us were taught from a young age not to lie. As part of a yoga practice, truthfulness is more than following rules and doing what we're told. How can you use the truth to build a life of integrity, love, and compassion?
Being True In Your Words
On a daily basis, we can choose to be honest when we speak, whether we're speaking to strangers or our one true love. Every grown-up knows that a white lie can be the correct, merciful response in a delicate situation. If you shirk the truth, are you doing it for your own good or someone else's?
Being True In Relationships
What are you goals, motivations, and hopes for for your relationships? Would the people you love, play, and work with be surprised to know what's really in your heart? Be honest about what you hope to give and take from the people around you.
Being True To Yourself
Sometimes we want to do things (say, for example, a yoga pose) that we really aren't ready to do. But it looks cool or fun, and everyone else is doing it. In this instance, we can turn our attention away from physical pain and toward the glory we get from doing a complicated pose. If you ignore what you're body tells you, you're not being truthful in your practice.
Similarly, in life, we sometimes ignore gut feelings because we're scared of what will happen if we take a leap or do the right thing. Have you ever stayed at a job that made you miserable just for the money? Have you dated someone you didn't love because they brought you social status, or because you didn't want to hurt their feelings? Our gut instincts are the truth. If we tune them out, we're not living honest lives.
Like Ahimsa, Satya is an infinite practice--we will never stop having opportunities to seek and live truth.