Welcome to Day 2 of the Yoga Anytime Self-Care Challenge
. We’re so happy you are here.
Today’s practices focus on truth or satya. Satya is the second of the yamas, which are our blueprint for this Self-Care Challenge. Satya is an extension of ahimsa, non-violation. Truthfulness reveals whether we’re living in synch with the cosmos.
I recently wrote and have been repeating a mantra to truth that I hope is helpful to this work:
Inhabit truth. Embody your word. What you do matters.
In describing the yamas, the Yoga Sutras
treat truth as follows:
“When one abides in truthfulness, actions result in their desired end.” ~ YS 2.36
Truth in the Context of the Yoga Sutras
One of the ways I find myself working with the philosophy of this yoga is by creating diagrams and little analytical tests. (I think this might be a hold-over from my days in law school and as an attorney, but it works for me.)
Recently in my notes I wrote:
Satya/Truth = Ahimsa/Non-Violation + Svadhyaya/Self Study - Avidya/Forgetfullness
Abiding in truth requires that we recognize the lies we tell.
Lies as False Sense of Protection
Why do we lie? We lie because we are afraid. Afraid of disappointing, afraid of not being enough, afraid that everyone will know we don’t know everything. All of this fear isolates us. For a time, it keeps us safe by keeping everyone at a comfortable distance. This invites us to remain in the even deeper lie that we are alone for longer and longer. One day, though, by some careful slip, we reveal a scary truth. And instead of being punished or pushed away or laughed at, that other person draws us in. And this is our first little reminder of our true nature. We are already together. Already connected all the time.
Part of the work of dwelling in truth is recognizing it. But there is a second layer that Ravi calls “withstanding the truth.” And this requires svadhyaya, or self-study. We must be resilient enough, or firmly established in our own practice, that revealing our lies won’t shatter us completely.
Recognizing Our Lies
I’ve noticed that one of the ways I lie is by clinging to a thought or a belief. I notice it in my body, my language, my field as a tightening, a hardening, a gripping. For instance, my chiropractor recently told me that in order to keep up all of the great work we have been doing together, I need to add in more squats and additional glute strengthening. My initial response was to grip, to tighten around a story that I already work out enough and I don’t have time for one more thing. Whoa. Really? Luckily (I mean, truly, luckily; magically, even), I was conscious of that story almost simultaneously with having the thought. In that moment, I saw the gripping for what it was and asked myself what I was protecting with the lie? And is that something I want to protect?
The work we’ll do together today focuses on how to notice and utilize the body’s cues when we are in or out of truthfulness. I’m excited to share and hope you’ll share your experiences in the comments or on Facebook
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