Satya, one of the yama or disappearance of all suppressions, means truth; it is also something I would like to achieve throughout this life.
It is to speak the truth, a commitment to truthfulness. This is not to say that we have to speak the truth at all times as it can hurt people around you. Satya is about restrain, we will need to hold back what we say, stop and think about it before shooting our mouth. Satya should not be in conflict with ahimsa, or non violence.
“If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all” – how apt is this quote to Satya?
Satya states that we shouldn’t vocalise what we think if it is harmful to that person and there is a difference between judgement and observation. In our daily lives, we meet people and being human beings we have our opinions, challenge here is we shouldn’t think about it or vocalise it if it’s not desirable to the ears of the recipient. For example, a friend you haven’t met for years have gained a lot of weight, looking vastly different from the last time both of you met. While that is the truth, and you’re making a judgement already, it is not Satya when you say it out loud to the person as it will inevitably hurt the person under attack. It is also not Satya if you’re thinking of that in your head….or throwing glances to another friend. He/she might just go into depression and this is all your fault!
*deep inhalation*
In yoga, practicing Satya is being honest about your own limits. That you might not be able to do as well at a particular pose for the first few times, yet you are willing to try and try and try again till you get it. Know where you stand, yet practice on getting better. Besides, nobody does a pose well at first try.
I like this quote “You don’t practice till you get it right, you practice till you can’t get it wrong” which links back to being truthful to yourself in yoga practice.
Let’s say during an abs workout class, the instructor is rambling out instructions after instructions for me to engage my core, keep my arms and legs up as I lift myself to my next crunch or body twist for the 50th time. I’m tired from all the insane sets and my abs are worked out from the session.
Practicing satya here would be to really follow through the practice session and not listen to my nonexisting rectus abdominus screaming for me to stop. Thou shall not stop halfway, or alternatively knowing my limits, be better than my previous set by do one more rep before a slight rest.
Cui Ling
200Hr YTT Vinyasa Flow Weekend