The theme of my yoga classes this week is satya or truthfulness, one of the yamas that are part of the 8-limbed yogic path authored by Patanjali. The yamas to me are a set of moral codes for living, and I can’t think of a more straight-up way to live than with the truth. I’m not just talking about watching those little white lies; I’m talking about being truthful in all of your thoughts, actions, and speech. When you can walk the talk of truth, the truth will set you free.
But living in truth can be a bit tricky at times, especially when we let the influences of the outside world and the constant chatter in our minds keep us from standing tall and rocking out in our own true way.
If you feel your truth has been slacking, here are a few ways to bring the practice of honesty back into your daily routine (both on and off the mat):
- Own and honor your feelings. Is there something (maybe a job or someone in your life) that just does not feel right? Are you being true to yourself by staying with that something or someone?
- Offer constructive feedback. Disclaimer: Offer your feedback, but be sensitive to the feelings of others, and most importantly, speak in the spirit of love.
- Forgive yourself and show compassion for others.
- Take responsibility for your actions. Wow, this is a tough one for me to swallow at times, but being truthful and owning up to a situation instead of making excuses (or blaming others) can be a very powerful way to live in your truth.
- Be truly authentic. Do you act differently around groups of people; are you being fake, putting on false pretenses? Check yourself as you go through your day, and let go of the masks that hide you from being the unique and beautiful person you are.
You may not realize this, but the simple act of showing up to your yoga mat is one of the best ways to practice being who you really are. Yoga allows you to breathe, let go of your facade, and rest into your true being. Next time you are on the mat, focus on standing firm in your truth (warrior poses are great for this) and connecting to your true self (mountain pose is a nice choice here). Close your eyes for a moment and remember the practice of satya. Make a promise to yourself to stay truthful, taking the peace and truth you find on your yoga mat out into the world.