The Yamas | Satya

The Yamas and Niyamas are principles for living and make up the first and second of the eight limbs of yoga.  The second yama is satya.

The concept of Satya is "do not lie." As with all the yamas, this truthfulness is practiced at three levels, that of actions, speech and thoughts.

When we talk about truth, we tend to focus on our speech, but the broader focus of including actions and thoughts makes it integrated. You aren’t saying one thing with your lips and doing something else with your actions. Notice that the word—integration—is the same root as integrity.

We all know that this integration can be more difficult than it would seem. For example, we may think one thing in our heads, but have a hard time lining up our actions. (For example, we may believe we should save money, but instead we shop recreationally.)

We also give ourselves passes to lie in certain "to protect the other person's feelings." It occurs to me that when I've lied, it hasn't been that selfless.  I wanted to be protecting the other person's feelings, but in reality I just didn't want them to think badly of me. Or I wanted to avoid the conflict.

Practical Ways to Practice Satya

This week, could you practice radical truthfulness? Could your words, thoughts and actions make you not only truthful with others, but also relentless with the truth about yourself?

A commitment to truth, even when it costs us can have surprising benefits in our lives.

Satya is a worthy thing to practice. 

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© Yogi with a Day JobMaira Gall