The journey continues…This past week we’ve been looking at living our yoga through the lens of Satya or truth (truthfulness, honesty, integrity…). Satya shares the same Sanskrit root Sat – which means ”that which is.”
I’ve been thinking about the practice of Satya a lot these last few weeks as I heal from an injury (not yoga related at all) which has prevented me from practicing asana. I’ve had to be completely honest and truthful with myself about my limitations (i.e. no real physical activity beyond walking and basic activities.) and respect them fully or risk reinjuring myself. I've simply had to be with what is, with regard to my body, which is a body that is healing.
But I’ve also had to be fully honest about the responsibilities I do feel ready to take back on (like dog-walking, laundry, cleaning) so as not to mislead or take advantage of Jonathan’s generosity and good will. The thought of Satya has even extended into my thoughts about coloring my hair, things that I choose to “omit” in some of my conversations with Maddie, even the things I choose to share or not with my family and friends. That’s not to say we should disclose everything to everyone all the time, but rather it might be about noticing the choices we are making and honestly noticing where they are coming from. Are our choices coming from a place of dishonesty, integrity, or somewhere else, like protection or fear? I think intention plays a big part in feeling like we are acting from our truth.
On the mat practicing with Satya in mind might play out as listening and honoring where you are in your practice: choosing to do your practice in a way that meets you where you are, possibly moves you toward your edge, but without pushing you over your edge; moving in a way that honors and respects both your gifts and abilities as well as your limitations and needs.
Here are some things to think about as you begin your practice-be it at home or in class:
Let that information guide you as you begin your practice.
And as you make your way through your practice you might consider:
See how honest you can be with yourself as you practice and ponder these questions
As we think about how these practices can live off the mat, we should do so with kindness and compassion and flexibility.
I’ll leave you all with this from Judith Lasater’s A Year of Living Your Yoga:
Be who you are, where you are.
Living Your Yoga: The more we are ourselves, the more we enjoy our life. Today if you are in an uncomfortable, even restrictive situation, don’t be afraid to speak your truth with love.
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