In the yogic tradition there are five key attitudes towards others and our environment that we can adopt to live an authentic, balanced life. The first is ahimsa, non-violence. The second is satya or truthfulness.
Most of us consider ourselves to be truthful in that we try not to lie. However, there is a broader way to explore truthfulness that can allow for more peace and serenity. You might like to explore satya in your meditation practice today and think of ways in which you can practice truthfulness in your life.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Work at developing relationships (or just one relationship) where you feel safe being exactly who you are. It’s very empowering to be able to speak about your wounds, flaws and actions to another. Find someone who is supportive, who listens fully and who can reflect back in a way that’s helpful.
- Being honest about our abilities is very important in our asana (pose) practice. I see many students struggling to push past pain to do poses that they aren’t ready for – or that are not right for their body. An asana practice can be challenging, but should never cause harm to the body. Experiencing some discomfort is one thing. Staying in pain is quite another.
- In yoga, satya is considered a restraint as much as an action. You can practice this by carefully considering your words and filtering what you say. There is a reason why ahimsa or non-harming is the first key attitude and satya is the second. Not causing harm is more important than saying everything that you consider the truth, all the time.
- A final suggestion is to consider being completely truthful with yourself. We’ve all had times where we’ve created stories that support what we believe about ourselves such as about being a victim, being better than others or that what happened was completely someone else’s fault. Being truthful means being accountable and responsible as we engage with others.
- Setting an intention for truthfulness can be a great reminder for how we might like act. At the end of many of my classes, I will often ask my students to set the following intentions: “May I see the truth.May I speak the truth.May I know the truth.”
Thank you for joining me on the path.