Yoga 101: Satya – Truthfulness

This entry was posted on Jun 13, 2023 by Charlotte Bell.

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Yoga 101: Satya - Truthfulness 7

I will begin this put up with a disclosure. I have been pushing aside writing about satya (truthfulness) for a number of years. It isn’t as a result of I do not assume it is an vital topic. It is often because I really feel that it is critically vital and I wish to be sure that I signify it with the gravity and respect it deserves, inside the bounds of a shortish weblog put up. Training satya appears to be extra vital than ever in lately of widespread disinformation—and the way in which it has harmed our nationwide dialog. On this put up, I’ll focus on satya as each an intention and as a observe.

Satya is the second of yoga’s yamas (ethical precepts) in Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. Satya challenges us to observe impeccable honesty in our ideas, phrases and deeds. The Buddha positioned truthfulness on the basis of his 5 precepts (non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, clever use of sexuality, and refraining from intoxicants that cloud the thoughts). Truthfulness can also be a step alongside the Eightfold Path.

Truthfulness as a Basis

After I was a youngster, there have been three business TV stations, and one public station. Everybody received their information and data from these stations and from our day by day newspapers. Journalistic requirements require using a number of sources and a number of layers of truth checking. Within the age of the web free-for-all, whereas journalistic requirements nonetheless apply to most main media shops, the dividing line between journalism and opinion has turn into fairly hazy.

Many individuals are usually not skilled to know learn how to discern between reality and opinion, or between reality and fiction. This has resulted in media customers retreating into their corners, complicated opinion with truth, and selling unfounded conspiracy theories that demonize the “different.” We now not share a typical basis of agreed-upon reality.

Like several construction, a relationship’s power depends on the integrity of its basis. I concern that as a tradition, we have misplaced this basis. The outcome has been a chaos of divisiveness and demonization.

This may occur in interpersonal relationships as effectively. Our private relationships is usually a laboratory for working towards impeccable truthfulness. Most significantly, this consists of our relationship with ourselves.

Shades of Satya

Training satya in our lives isn’t as simple as it would sound. The observe, in fact, consists of refraining from apparent untruthfulness, reminiscent of making up tales out of complete fabric. Satya additionally consists of not committing lies of omission, reality shading or exaggeration. There are occasions after we might shade the reality or omit pertinent particulars with a purpose to elevate our picture or to guard us from judgment. Everybody I do know, together with myself, has experimented with shading the reality in a technique or one other. We’d like not choose ourselves for these lapses. In some methods, they’re a part of studying learn how to be extra truthful.

Training truthfulness simplifies our lives and results in higher equanimity. Mark Twain stated, “In case you inform the reality, you do not have to recollect something.” Have you ever ever instructed a lie after which needed to make up a bunch of different tales to help it? After which, you need to keep in mind what you instructed which particular person? Telling lies or shading the reality complicates our lives. It typically results in our being caught for telling tales, which, in flip erodes others’ belief in us. It is a lot, a lot easier to only inform the reality.

Lapses in satya might be delicate, and even unintentional. It’s because we do not all the time acknowledge the filters of notion that we layer over the reality. We might stand by a specific opinion piece just because it bolsters our views. Or within the case of an early romance, we might ignore an unflattering reality just because we do not wish to see it. We might imagine we’re seeing a scenario clearly, however in reality, the perceptions we use to outline ourselves and our world could also be appearing as filters.

Satya and Mindfulness Apply

That is the place mindfulness is available in. Mindfulness observe provides us the abilities to see by means of our filters—our deeply held beliefs and perceptions. Observing the habits of our personal minds helps us determine our psychological patterns and preferences. Once we perceive what filters are holding us from seeing a scenario clearly, we are able to start to see by means of them. This helps us make wiser decisions.

This work might be humbling. It might shatter our concepts of who we’re. Typically the patterns we have chosen to nourish are usually not flattering. However it’s all the time worthwhile to find them. First, seeing the place we’re susceptible to falter helps us generate empathy for the failings of others. Second, if we wish to reside a lifetime of integrity, now we have to grasp the mechanisms that maintain us from clear seeing. Residing a lifetime of integrity and truthfulness results in higher ease.

Learn how to Apply Satya on the Yoga Mat

We are able to use our yoga observe and instructing as a laboratory for exploring satya. Listed below are a couple of options:

  • Do you end up pushing past your physique’s limits if you’re in a category out of concern that your regular poses are usually not “good” sufficient? Do you keep away from utilizing yoga props reminiscent of Yoga Blocks or Yoga Straps in school if you is perhaps inclined to make use of them at house? In that case, discover your motivation, and tune into no matter psychological state is perhaps accompanying it. For instance, is nervousness, competitiveness or envy current? These psychological states can perform as filters. How would it not be to observe the yoga that is truest to your physique at this second, reasonably than making an attempt to fulfill some expectation of what a “good” pose appears to be like like?
  • As a instructor, honesty with our college students is essential. This implies admitting you do not know the reply to a query should you really do not know it. In fact, you may analysis the coed’s query and report again later should you’ve provide you with a solution. You too can discover the query alongside along with your pupil by asking them pertinent questions on why they’re asking, what they’re feeling, and many others. Even after 40-plus years of observe, I am effectively conscious that I do know solely a fraction of what there’s to find out about yoga. Admitting that you do not know is a chance to be taught extra.

Satya Is a Lifelong Apply

As with all observe, we might falter in our dedication to satya once in a while. Discover if you really feel tempted to shade the reality. And provides your self a pat on the again if you chorus from doing it. As you observe and turn into extra expert at figuring out and talking the reality, you may uncover extra delicate manifestations of it. Typically, you might must chorus from talking till you realize for positive what your reality is—with out filters. That is all a part of the method, one that can enrich your relationships and result in a lifetime of simplicity and ease.

About Charlotte Bell

Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and commenced instructing in 1986. Charlotte is the creator of Aware Yoga, Aware Life: A Information for On a regular basis Apply and Yoga for Meditators, each printed by Rodmell Press. Her third e book is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and folks sextet Crimson Rock Rondo, whose DVD received two Emmy awards in 2010.

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