Satya: Truth’s Role in Yoga

Satya is not just a yoga jewelry line or the name of Microsoft’s new CEO. Satya means truthfulness in the yoga language of Sanskrit. Truthfulness is the the 2nd most important principle in the yoga moral code or Yamas. There are a few obvious and not so obvious ways that we practice it on and off the mat.

Let’s start with on the mat. We practice truthfulness in yoga class by being honest with ourselves in the postures. Is the pose helping us or hurting us? Are we attempting to go deeper into a posture because we are ready for that next step or because the person next to us is doing it? Are we not trying the arm balance because we are weak or are we just afraid of trying? Truthfulness on the mat requires us to be patient, humble and also daring.

As we move off the mat, the yogi’s practice of truth reflects on his/her words. Are we honest with family, friends and coworkers? Do we make promises we know we can’t keep? Our word is one of the few things we have control over. A yogi’s word is impeccable.

The more we practice yoga, we see that the practice itself is a mirror of where we are in our lives. Applying truthfulness to ourselves in this moment helps us see if we are being honest with ourselves about how we are living. Are we happy with the path we have chosen? If we are, great! If we are not, being true to ourselves means making a change.

How has the practice of truthfulness or Satya in yoga helped you?


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