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Satya, the art of being truthful

Satya is the second of the five Yamas, and translates as truthfulness. Satya guides us to think, speak and act with integrity, seeing and communicating things as they actually are not as you wish they may be. This can be quite challenging for most of us, we all perceive life through a filtered and conditioned mindset: our thoughts and beliefs are all moulded through the social media lens of modern day society. What we experience our truth it is often what we do not share, or our actual truth manipulated to what people see through a ‘lens’ on the other side. Practicing Satya requires staying open and in the present moment, keeping an open mind as the truth reveals itself in another way, neither of which are easy.

In small ways we are all fibbing!

We all consider ourself honest people - except the occasional white lie when we do not want to hurt someones feelings (listening to our Ahimsa!) But how many times have you lied when we do not want to do something? We make up an excuse rather than telling someone that we simply do not want to something. We often spend too much time worrying about someones reaction, behaving how we ‘should’ be rather than speaking our truth, living in the present and being ourself. I often find myself making up an excuse when I do not want to go out and do something, half the time I want to be at home wrapped in my dressing gown watching Netflix, instead of telling my friends that ( which I am sure most of them would not mind) and we make up the same excuse again.

Likewise with how we portray ourselves and our lives on social media, I do believe to a degree we are all guilty of this one. We craft our own feeds and our instagram stories with the edited version, not just physical photo editing either, by cherry picking the most fun and outgoing parts of our life to share with the world rather than sometimes just sharing what we find joyful or not at all. I found myself very guilty of the latter, streamlining all areas of life to make sure they were instagram worthy, however reality’s this was making me unhappy, in turn it is lying to yourself, sometimes without being aware of it we can also begin to believe our own lies.

When we lie, the sages say we disconnect from our high self; our minds become confused and we cannot trust ourselves.

So should we always tell our loved ones what we think? Satya here can get more complex, it follows Ahimsa which is the highest ranking Yama so we need to honour the principle of non-harming, so we should only do this in a way that causes the least amount of harm. According to the wisdom of the sages, it is better to remain silent than to speak a harsh or cruel truth. Before we offer an unsolicited opinion or criticism, the ancients advise us to pause and consider: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it useful? Is it kind?

The Truth will set you free, it offers freedom and allows us to truly be ourself. We do this often when we are on the mat, it allows to look inward, and by being truthful to ourself we do not push the body to do what it cannot. We welcome the use props to aid us and guide us to poses (the most advanced type of yoga is when we allow ourselves to use props)

Yoga allows us to be true to ourself, it gives us the oppertunity to be honest with ourselves, in a loving, playful, non-judgmental accepting way. This self realisation allows us to catch more glimpses into our true selves.

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