Satya, the second Yama is intimately connected with Ahimsa, because it builds on the premise that dishonesty is a form of harm. Satya teaches us not to lie – to others or to ourselves. We know instinctively that lying doesn’t lead to anything good – it destroys relationships, trust, makes us anxious and uncomfortable. And yet we turn to lies because of the pressure we often believe we’re under – to be perceived more successful, to appear better, to pretend we have more. Part of Satya is about letting go of those expectations and finding acceptance in your heart towards where you are now. Accepting the things we like about ourselves and those we don’t. The beautiful truths and those not so pretty. Yoga teaches us that we need to accept where we are even when we’re trying to change.
Satya is also about finding your truth – your goal, your purpose in life, your calling, whatever you want to call it, it is that thing that makes you you, that drives you forwards, that leaves the mark in the world.
So much in yoga is about listening to that inner voice, connecting with that internal wisdom. We work towards quietening our minds to hear that voice and open up to its guidance. If your mind is busy chattering, it’s as if you were in a room full of people speaking loudly – it is impossible to distinguish one voice form another, let alone hear the soft, subtle whisper of your internal truth. The more you go out of the thinking and focus inwards, the more sensitive you will become to that guiding voice, to its advice that comes from the place of love and oneness.
As in our asana practice, the practice of Satya may initially feel uncomfortable, difficult and even unachievable. But yoga gives us tools. We have our breath, we have the focus. Living your truth can be extremely liberating, but getting to that point is rarely easy. And as in asana, sometimes we may fall, but it doesn’t mean we don’t try again. And again. And again, until it feels comfortable and easy and light. Full of space and joy. And then you know it was worth it.
Because once you have experienced that truth, that oneness, that connections to the source, everything changes. The priorities shift. You have seen the light. It cannot be unseen.
You become aware of your true calling, of your purpose in life, whatever it may be. And you know you can safely let go of the past. You’ve connected to your truth and now it’s time to start living it.