„Satya – truthfulness“
For this months inspiration I chose Satya. In sanskrit it’s translated as ‚truth‘, ‚true essence‘, ‚true nature‘ or ’not lying‘. This is the second Yama (discipline or restraint) from Patanjali’s yoga sutras. Patanjali was a sage who wrote one of the first texts on yoga at least 1700 years ago.
I’ve been trying to live by this Yama for the last year and I’ve found the process very freeing. Initially I found that I was telling little lies quite often. For example if I couldn’t meet a friend because I was tired, instead of saying I needed time for myself I would make up silly stories about why I couldn’t come. Consequently I would often need to recall theses little lies and remember what I had told which person. I have a since discovered that this actually causes a lot of unnecessary stress and overthinking. Patanjali would call this ‚Vriti‘ -Whirlpools or disturbances in the mind ‚chitta‘. I would encourage anyone to observe any lies you tell in your daily life, perhaps at work, to children, friends and family. However be aware this doesn’t mean you need to hurt anyone with brutal honesty. Sometimes it’s better to not say anything then to lie and hurt someone’s feelings. Not all words need to be spoken. Truth and opinions should also not be confused.
Since my small lies have been under control, I embarked on a journey of exploring how honest I am with myself. I question and reflect on my own thoughts and I examine the roots of my behavior. Admittedly this is a complex process and I remind myself to not judge too harshly. Meditation is so important in the area of Satya. Meditation gives us time, space and stillness to gather our thoughts and to gain clarity so that we can communicate clearly and truthfully from the heart. Meditation also helps us to reconnect with our true selves and the true reality of our existence and to put away the facades we often hide behind.
Satya links to yoga practice on the mat. It’s crucial to be honest with our level in yoga practice and to not push too hard, too quickly or to not try as hard as we know we truthfully can. Sometimes it’s helpful to be honest and just accept where we are in our practice. I’m guilty of this! Sometimes I want to make my body in to a pretzel and I have to be honest and remind myself of the truth that no matter what we can do on the mat we are still perfect, beautiful and valued.
For this month try to observe how truthful you can be. Feel free to share any thoughts with me.
ATHAYOGA Inspiration of the Month | October 2016