Yamas: Ethical Practices of Yoga | Chapter 2: Satya

Satya means truthfulness. Before you read this blog, take a moment: Think about something that you once thought to be the truth, but now do not. Did you resist the change, or accept the new truth with ease and grace?

Satya means truthfulness and sincerity. Being truthful and sincere allows us to perceive reality as it is and communicate clearly what we believe to be true. We live satya when our thoughts, words and actions are aligned. When aligned, our power is amplified (imagine how beams of light coming together can produce fire) and there is no resistance in life, no tension, no uncontrolled chaos. Life becomes simpler.

Satya practice starts with having a clear and compassionate heart-mind. When we have a clear mind and compassionate heart we perceive reality as it actually is, without ego interfering. The hardest part of practicing satya is that we let our egos get in the way. Lying, to ourselves or to others, is a learned behavior that is there to protect our egos and provide us with a false sense of belonging. If your ego is guiding your thoughts, words, and actions, there will always be an aching feeling in your mind, heart and/or gut. Listen to these feelings, because your body will tell you when you are being untruthful. Your body cannot lie.

It is important to accept that what we believe to be true can change from time to time, and also differ from one person to the next. What I perceive as the truth through my view of the world can be completely different from what you perceive as the truth, even if we are viewing the exact same reality. To practice satya we must be willing and able to adapt to change when new information is presented. The more we practice satya, the more we will notice our preconceived biases and patterns.

As promised, the next three blogs will be on the last three yamas, or yogic ethical practices; asteya (non-stealing), brahmacarya (right use of energy) and aparigraha (non-grasping). Follow along as we explore these insightful topics. You can go back and read about the first yama, ahimsa, to see how compassion and truthfulness play into each other.

Comment below and share your experiences practicing truthfulness and sincerity. If you’re feeling really brave, share a lie you told (to yourself or to others) and why you think you told that lie. How did it feel? Did you feel out of alignment with your highest self? Is there an area in your life where you notice you have a hard time telling the truth?

“The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.”


Satya Exercise: If you are feeling like you are about to tell a lie, no matter how small, PAUSE, imagine dropping the space of the head into the space of the heart, and then respond from there. This should feel very freeing.

Satya Mantra: I am responsible to align my thoughts, words, and actions.

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Published by keniABC

May I know Freedom. May You know Freedom. May all Beings know Freedom.

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