सत्यप्रतिष्थायं क्रियाफलाश्रयत्वम् ॥३६॥
satya-pratiṣthāyaṁ kriyā-phala-āśrayatvam ||Yoga Sutra 2:36||
Once a state of truth (satya) has been permanently established, each statement will form the basis for a truthful result. ||Yoga Sutra 2:36||
“When one is firmly established in speaking truth, the fruits of action become subservient to him."
The 2nd Yama (morale observance) as highlighted by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras is Satya, translated as truthfulness or living with highest integrity. Patanjali explains how when the yogi bases their actions in truth, the results will always be truthful. Truth is sometimes referred to as supreme consciousness, that which prevades the universe, without distortion, and equal to love. The obvious expectation is to refrain from telling lies of any degree and speak, act, thing with integrity and compassion. We see truth in all the Universe, and as a Yogi it is important to be example of this concept of divine truth. Our truth can be seen in our words, and Patanjali highlights it as a Yama (restraint) to point out what we should refrain from doing, highlighting how we place a filter on our words so that we maintain harmony with the first yama of ahimsa (non-harming). This interpretation of a filter is refraining from judgement. Whenever we judge, we impose our perception on the world, and as explored in the calming of the monkey mind, seeing and speaking with "satya" is silencing our perceptions.
The amazing reality is when these Yamas are applied in every area of our universe, the monkey mind becomes quiet, the ripple effect is the truthful result. Words that are rooted in Satya have the ability to inspire virtue in others, every soul feels at home, and harmony is the successful result.
“Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it true, is it necessary, does it improve upon the silence?”
4 simple ways to implement Satya to your practice include:
- Be True to yourself - On the mat be in the moment embracing the fact that you are partaking in a yoga "practice", therefore if you cannot do a pose today, or it causes pain, be good to your body, it is something to work towards with practice. Off the mat, if someone or a situation disturbs your inner peace, rather than allowing it to disturb your inner peace, walk away with compassion. We can never control someone's actions, but we can always control our reaction. If this is someone in your immediate family or work environment, look with compassion (ahimsa) before allowing judgement to formulate into anger or gossip.
- Speak your truth - Words are powerful enough to harm or heal. Perhaps in your journal or meditation reflect on areas of your life where you can be more truthful. Often we cannot be true to ourselves till we acknowledge the areas where we refrain from being truthful due to consequences we have created or fears we have built up in our own mind. Whatever truth we speak, while it is great to be direct, always abide by ahimsa (non harming) when we choose our words. On the mat, be a witness to your internal dialogue, judgements, expectations, blame, excuses and remind yourself to bring focus back to your breath, replacing negative self talk with gratitude & love.
- Be True with Love - There is no need to please or deceive people when we speak with truthfulness. We can stay true to our convictions, goals and love of nature always in a loving way. Communicate with love so to avoid misunderstandings. Therefore rather than assume the yoga teacher is ignorant, take a childs pose in class (love yourself), and ask the teacher afterwards if you have concerns. Respect another persons point of view, we do not always need to be right. The moment we take a current life situation with the emotional reaction that places us in the victim role, we need to dig deeper and acknowledge that the scenario is bringing up unresolved feelings from a previous situation.
- Be your best truth - For yoga teachers acknowledge your time is value, and you deserve compensation, studio owners should always compensate their teachers, money is an exchange of energy and a yoga teacher should always be compensated for their time. While there is Karma Yoga in many ashrams and yoga centers, be mindful of not taking advantage. Yoga students remember to recognize the teacher is your guide and your classmates are there for an experience too so refrain from chatter and distracting or disrespectful behavior in class. On the mat if your body is tight, or you have limitations embrace that moment, rather than push and strain muscles. Off the mat, always strive to do your best for yourself and your self development. Truth has a beautiful way of allowing us to be vulnerable, expose our ego, and find liberation past limiting beliefs.
Truth is a foundation of our yoga practice, our relationships, our business ventures, our families, and ourself. When our foundation is cracked it will affect everything. While many people get caught up in living a lie, or profiting from a lie, the laws of karma always come into play, and liars & cheaters never seem to go too far. Take some time to re-evaluate your life with truth, and eliminate things that need to be let go, so you can maintain your truth. Re-evaluate your yoga practice with truth, and recognize if this practice has inspired you to better relationships with yourself and others.