Practicing Satya. Truthfulness.
The Second of the Five Yamas

By Ellen Sundell


.“Walk as a free person. Walk in such a way that every steps brings you more dignity, freedom and stability.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

When we truly and fully “practice yoga”, we are aware of- and inspired by learning more deeply about–and by our living of–the Eight Limbs of Yoga.

The first limb of yoga is Yama (there are five yamas), which are the “Restraints” or the “Do Nots” of Yoga. The second limb of yoga is Niyama (there are five niyamas), which are the “Internal Observances” of Yoga. The third limb of yoga is Asana, or the “Physical Postures” of Yoga. The fourth limb of yoga is Pranayama, the breath-work or “Life Force” of Yoga. The fifth limb of yoga is Pratyahara, which is “Withdrawal of Senses” or internal reflection of Yoga. The sixth limb of yoga is Dharana, the “External Concentration” on a single point in Yoga. The seventh limb of yoga is Dhyana, the “Meditation” or internal concentration in Yoga. The eighth limb of yoga is Samadhi, which is the “Divine Oneness” we attain in practicing our Yoga. We continue exploring The Yamas, with Satya…


Satya. Truthfulness.
The Second of the Five Yamas…

“Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold on to the truth within yourself as to the only truth.” –Buddha

Satya means telling the truth. Truth can be powerful, truth has weight. Being truthful may be hugely frightening, but being truthful is good and is right. Truth is sometimes fierce, truth is always powerful.

Living satya means living in trust of your own “inner experience”, allowing yourself to experience your feelings, allowing yourself to experience growth, rather than the status quo in order to continue to easily “fit in”. Satya means being real, being authentic, rather than “being nice”; balancing truth with compassion.

Satya means being true to myself, admitting that I am learning, admitting that I am not always honest, sometimes in big ways. Satya is the perfection in being imperfect, in allowing and in taking the opportunity for growth.

Living satya means not hiding from one’s self, not hiding from others. May I not hide in the messiness of truth. May I express where I’m coming from, and may I hear you, too. May I dare to say it as I feel it, may I brush out my truth until it’s smooth. May I get to the very bottom of my truth. May I hear your truth, too.

Satya can mean choosing fearless self-expression rather than choosing easy self-indulgence. May I dare choose living what I may initially perceive to be “the consequences” of my truth, rather than choose living what I may perceive to be “the benefits” of my lie. May I truly understand that the benefit is to be found in living my truth, not in living out a lie. Truth is often the harder choice. And may I continuously re-evaluate my truth, allowing the evolution of truth over time shaped by experience.

“The sun shines down, and its image reflects in a thousand different pots filled with water. The reflections are many, but they are each reflecting the same sun. Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all people.” –Ammachi

Namaste friends,
Resource: The Yamas & Niyamas, Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice (by Deborah Adele)