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Truthfulness - Satya

- real, true and virtuous

When following the yogic path, the yamas and niyamas provide a set of practical, ethical guidelines.

The second Yama of Patanjali's eightfold path, Satya, addresses concerns of truthfulness, sincerity, faithfulness, and loyalty toward oneself and others.

It's important to constantly speak the truth and to be sincere.

It also entails owning up to mistakes and not lying to oneself.

Or the capability to refuse what you don't want or feel is appropriate by saying "no" rather than "yes" out of politeness or weakness.

Speaking the truth in love can help all of your relationships, including the most important one of them—the one you have with yourself—grow and bloom.

I consider practice to be "advanced" when a student chooses to use props, back off, or even omit a position entirely.

These students are engaging in satya practice.

They are acknowledging the truth of the present moment rather than disobeying signals and endangering their bodies and brains.

This results from a deeper comprehension of what practice—the fusion of body and mind—really entails.

Comparing and competing does not honor the realities of the present.

By engaging in mindfulness exercises, we respect the present moment.

Satya practice on the mat may provide us the tools to practice it for the rest of our life.

“Is it true; is it kind; or is it necessary?”

Wisdom story:

The wise Socrates was approached by someone who yelled, "Listen, Socrates, I have to tell you that!"

- "Stop!"

Have you run what you want to say to me through the three sieves? The wise man interrupted him.

"Three sieves?" asked the other in astonishment.

"Sure, dear friend.

Let's check to see if your intended message can pass through the three sieves:

The first is the truth.

Have you verified the veracity of anything you intend to tell me?

No, I overheard that being spoken, and

-" So, so!

But surely you checked it in the second sieve, though.

That is the sieve of goodness.

Is what you wish to say to me good?

The other hesitantly said,

"No, on the opposite..."

Let's use the third sieve as well," the wise guy interjected.

Is it really necessary to tell me that?"

- „not necessary but…

So, if it isn't true, good, or necessary, then let it be buried and don't bother you and me with it, the wise man grinned.


First question: Is it true?

Let's be honest. How often do we use so-called white lies? Instead of: "I'm too tired and want to spend this evening on the sofa" we say to our friend with whom we have an appointment: "I'm not feeling well today, I'm sick and I'm staying at home."

What actually prevents you from being honest? Maybe you should be honest with yourself and admit that you don't really want to meet this person right now because you just don’t feel like it? Yes, you don't want to disappoint this person, but are we honest with ourselves then? Why don't we do what we want and what is good for us and invent some white lies instead?

Let's get to the 2nd question: Is what I'm saying good?

We live in the time where the media is full of war and violence, there is more violence in films than ever before and our conversations often revolve around: "Have you heard... xy did that" or "that's terrible!"

We tend to direct our focus, and therefore our conversations, to the negative.

But is that good? Are we doing ourselves a favor by consuming so many negative topics?

Yes, the world is dramatic, bad and unfair, but there is also a lot of good in this world! Many spiritual speakers or philosophers claim that we live in a duality. Good can only exist because we can also experience evil, or bad. If we didn't know what evil is, we couldn't appreciate good either. We might not even know what's good!

If this is so and we live in a duality, then there is just as much good as there is bad. Yin and yang! Everything is in balance.

We just forgot how to focus on the good. We have practically forgotten how to see the good.

That's why it's so important to talk about good things. Laughing together so as not to let the bad news get to you so much.

There are several ways to focus on the positive.

For someone who constantly has negative thoughts circling, these methods can be helpful to learn positive thinking again.

Coming to the last question: Is what I'm saying necessary?

Is it sometimes necessary to say anything at all, or is it perhaps better to remain silent? When it comes to satya, is it necessary to embellish a story in a trivial way because then it might seem more interesting? Or is it necessary to answer something to a provocative sentence when the biggest argument then breaks out and you can no longer be truthful?

So the 2nd rule of Yama - Satya asks us to think, act and speak sincerely.

Above all, Satya means being honest with yourself. How often do we say "yes" when we actually mean "no". Or maybe vice versa?

Be honest, when you say yes, mean yes too!

In other words – be real, authentic, say what you think and do what you say.

So: Be who you are!


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