Friday, April 13, 2012

Satya: Finding Your Truth

Satya: Finding a your Truth

In my last blog entry, I talked about Ahimsa, or non-violence. This is one of the yoga principles that I use in a yoga class that I teach called Soft Flow. This week, I'd like to talk about another yoga principle called Satya. It means Truthfulness.

Satya is the second Yama. The Yamas, as described in Patanjamli's Yoga Sutras, are "the guidelines for how we interact with the outer world, the social disciplines to guide us in our relationships with others." Patanjali goes on to describe truthfulness as "to be in harmony with mind, word and action, to conduct speech and mind according to truth, to express through speech and to retain it in the intellect what has been seen, understood or heard." He proclaims that it is important that truth is expressed toward self as well as toward others. Truth is practiced in what we think, say, and do. They should all coincide with one another.

I have added another interpretation to this definition. Not only is it important to be honest and truthful in these facets, as Patanjali states. I think that it is also important to express your truest self: to be who you really are and to express it in thought, mind, and action. We cannot fully develop and be our most authentic self if we are trying to be something or someone else. If we are always wearing masks or pretending to be something that we are not, we are not expressing our truth: we are not being honest with ourselves. We can use the yoga practice and this yoga principle to help guide us toward that Inner Truth.

I use this Yama in another yoga class that I teach called Hot Vinyasa. In a yoga studio that is just over 100 degrees, I ask my students to seek their truth; to explore and discover who they really are, then learn to express it. The vinyasa takes us through a themed-oriented class that challenges us to explore, for example, Opening Our Hearts, Creating A Strong Foundation, Creating Balance, Cleansing & Healing, Supporting Yourself, just to name a few.

Although the Hot Vinyasa is a 1-hour flowing class, one can practice and experience Satya anytime....anywhere. Even in stillness, one can discover the authentic Self. I believe that is one of the best way to discover your Truth: in quiet stillness. We are constantly bombarded by distractions, noise, obligations, responsibilities, etc. It can be a challenge to find time to really work on ourselves when we are being drawn to other things that need our attention. If you can take a few minutes, which is one of the intentions of this blog, to sit in quiet stillness, you can begin that process of exploring, finding, living, and experiencing YOUR TRUTH.

Take a moment now, and sit on your yoga mat (or even a comfortable chair.) Be sure that there is no one else around, your phone is off, the television is off, and there are NO other distractions. Set aside THREE minutes! Yes, just three minutes (set a timer if you have to.) Just sit with breath. You really don't have to think about anything. You don't have to do anything. It's just an opportunity for your body and mind to rest, to come to ease and silence. This is a good beginning to finding Satya because THIS IS your true nature: to be in stillness WITH SELF in order to SEE SELF.


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