We are making our way down the Path to Peace. Next stop in the Yama: Satya (Truthfulness)
Satya is the second tenet under the Yama guideline. The Yama and the Niyama are foundational to all yogic thought. Yoga is a lifestyle, not just a workout, and the Yama and Niyama provide the foundational teachings we need in order to live a joyful, peaceful and moral life. They are foundational stepping stones to all we believe as yogis.
We are discussing, in detail, Patanjali’s 8 limbed path from the Yoga Sutras. Patanjali codified the basic tenets true for all forms of yoga in the Yoga Sutras. They are as follows:
1. Yama – This first limb deals with ethical standards and a sense of integrity. The Yama breaks down into 5 categories:
Ahimsa – non-violence
Satya – truthfulness
Asteya – non-stealing
Brahmacharya – non-excess
Aparigraha – non-covetousness
2. Niyama – This limb addresses self-discipline and spiritual practices (no matter whom or what you worship) in your life. The Niyama also has five specific categories:
Saucha – cleanliness
Santosha – contentment
Tapas – self-discipline
Svadhyaya – self-study
Isvara pranidhana – surrender
3. Asana – physical postures
4. Pranayama – breath control
5. Pratyahara – self-observance/sensory withdrawal
6. Dharana – single point focus/concentration
7. Dhyana – meditation
8. Samadhi – bliss/a state of unity
Satya or truthfulness, lives next Ahimsa (non-violence) for a reason. The two co-exist and actually need each other in order for things to set up right. Truthfulness asks you to begin to practice speaking your truth while at the same time causing no harm to others.
Truth can be a brutal force but partnered with Ahimsa, it also keeps non-violence from simply being a cop-out. And, in turn, non-violence keeps the truth from being used as a mean weapon. However, in the end, if you cannot make the two dance together, always opt for Ahimsa-do no harm.
Satya is not a safe place-the truth is never easy. But the truth is good. It has the power to right wrongs, heal hearts and end conflicts.
You cannot be truthful without integrity. It’s more than just not telling a white lie.
It’s about being real rather than nice, self-expressive over self-indulgent, a leader vs. a follower, and having an open mind more than a closed one.
Next week: We deep dive into Satya! How to be real rather than nice and still do no harm. Yes, you can.