Pantanjali developed five yamas in the Yoga Sutras to offer guidance to us as practicing yogis:
- Non-violence or Ahimsa
- Truthfulness or Satya
- Non-stealing or Asteya
- Chasity or Brahmacharya
- Non-possessiveness or Aparigraha
Today, we’re going to learn about living and speaking our truth at all times: Satya.
Taking the time to reflect on the yogic path allows increased honesty. Noticing when I’m tired or angry and then owning that this is about me, and not about the other person or things that make me angry is helpful, although at times painful.
For example, I have a pattern of blaming others when I don’t leave myself enough time to get somewhere. Then I drive too quickly, and when someone drives slowly, they seem to block me. I catch myself blaming the other person. When I apply Satya, I need to be truthful and take responsibility: I didn’t leave myself enough time. Today, when I notice irritation arising when I’m in this state, I often remember to use my breath to come back fully into this present moment. And commit to leaving a few minutes earlier next time.
Invite truthfulness into guide you for seven days.
Begin with your own inner awareness. Do you honestly put your own needs and desires first? Do you have enough self value to recognize when you are engaged in internal critical self-talk? Notice if you make yourself more than you are or put yourself down first. Either extreme is not skillful.
Continue this practice of Satya to guide you within your relationships with family, friends, partner, children and others. Do you let your authentic, true self shine through? And if you don’t, why not? What offers you the ease and confidence to allow Satya to be illuminated within you?
Invite a deep noticing each time you become aware of a lack of truthfulness. Surround the noticing with compassion. As you shift more often on to the path of Satya, you will see it arise more often. Gradually, Satya becomes more integrated within you at a deeper level and more consistently a part of your yogic path.
We can’t forget that the fundamental lesson of this yogic path is that difficult and even painful feelings are our opportunity to wake up to a more genuine way of living; we can always love more and more deeply.” ~ Michael Stone
Susan Young is an Integral Life Coach in private practice, a Kirpalu Yoga teacher and facilitates Mindfulness Programs at Janati Yoga Studio and Conscious Aging with the Senior’s Center.