Exploration of the Yoga Sutras…Satya Yama..
In my last post we considered what is yoga and the meaning of Ahimsa and how we can apply it to our daily lives. In this post we will
look at the second step on our path to enlightenment – Satya.
Satya means truthfulness. Truthfulness in the words and thoughts we have towards others and ourselves. However, we must also speak with Ahimsa, non-harming. It is a, sometimes difficult, balance between speaking the truth but doing so in a way that doesn’t hurt.
Our aim is to achieve maximum positivity from ourselves and others.
Satya also applies to our thoughts and our actions. It can be challenging to practice both Ahimsa and Satya. By slowing down our reactions and taking time to consider what we will say, or do, we can react in accordance with both.
In order to slow down our reactions, we need to make space in our heads and our lives for self-reflection. Only from internal reflection can self-awareness grow. By ‘doing’ Yoga on our mat we give ourselves space and time to slow down the nervous system, and the chitter chatter of the mind.
By meditating regularly we allow ourselves to obtain an inner awareness. This inner knowledge permits us to observe, and not judge. Observation is a much kinder way to talk to ourselves and others. Consider ‘My hamstrings are tight and preventing me reaching the floor’ versus ‘I am so inflexible I’ll never be able to reach the floor’. The first is true and kind, the second isn’t particularly kind, nor necessarily true.
Satya doesn’t mean we have to be woolly in our instructions. Often it is kinder to be direct with your needs and requests. Consider how we speak to our children ‘Can you keep the noise down please?’. This suggests we don’t really mind if the volume lowers and leaves room for refusal, probably resulting in us getting cross!
Whereas ‘Be quiet’ is truthful and leaves no room for confusion that what you really want, is quiet!
When we see or hear someone speaking or acting from the heart, as humans we connect with their truth. Even if we do not agree with it, or find it important for us, we respect the other person’s position. We feel a connection with that person and are less likely to feel negatively about them. We can speak our position truthfully, yet kindly. Assertive, not aggressive.
Imagine how much more positive the world would be if we all lived our lives like this!
In all my Droitwich Yoga classes we complete a short meditation. To ramp up those effects and to help us all achieve the necessary space for slowing down, I am going to run a meditation challenge in March – keep your eyes peeled for details!