Satya in Sanskrit
Satya October 8th -15th
“Yoga challenges us to move into the world guided by nonviolent means and remain grounded in a spiritual practice rooted in honest and responsive action.”
∞ Micheal Stone
This week we will continue our studies of the Yamas. Each of the 5 Yamas (restraint/discipline) as mentioned in Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutra are to be practiced together and will help influence our behaviour patterns, or our relationship with the outside world. So we will continue to look back and consider actions of non-harming (Ahimsa), which we talked about last week.
The next Yama mentioned in the Yoga Sutra is Satya, or truthfulness. Desikachar, in his book The Heart of Yoga provides the definition, “Satya means to speak the truth, yet it is sometimes not always desirable to speak the truth come what may, for it could harm someone unnecessarily.” This is a great point, as we need to remember to what we learned in Ahimsa. It is better to say nothing than bring any harm with our words.
I feel there is a broader application of this Yama. Micheal Stone prefers the term honesty, and also honestly living a fully engaged life. “Honesty (satya) challenges us to focus our awareness on the relationship between the actions of our body, speech, mind and the effect of these actions individually and across the human, human-built, and nonhuman spectra.” So this can help to shed light on our negative habits (samsara) that we may overlook when not being mindful and honest.
The practice of Satya can bring a great sense of harmony. We’re constantly confronted with choices, options, character possibilities and the always-rising push of desire (Klesha). Our ego and samsaras (ritual habits) can persuade us to lie/fib to ourselves, thus ignoring our own intrinsic wisdom. By living our “truth” and practicing with complete honesty not judging but observing our actions, we can free ourselves from ignorance (advidya) and suffering (dukha).
I’ll leave you with a quote from B.K.S. Iyengar:
“He who has learnt to control his tongue has attained self-control in a great measure. When such a person speaks he will be heard with respect and attention. His words will be remembered, for they will be good and true. When one who is established in truth prays with a pure heart, then things he really needs come to him when they are really needed: he does not have to run after them. The man firmly established in truth gets the fruit of his actions without apparently doing anything.”
– B.K.S. Iyengar
References and Continuing Studies:
- Yoga for a World out of Balance – Michael Stone
- Light on Yoga – B.K.S. Iyengar
- The Heart of Yoga – T.K.V. Desikachar
As we continue our asana practice this week, we will focus on back bends with an emphasis on finding the tuck of the tailbone to encourage length in the lumbar spine. This will keep us safe as the front body opens. The Vayus (winds of the body) we will work with are called Samana and Vyana. Vyana flows from the core outwards (or all around us) and Samana is a gathering energy that hugs into the core. Samana is associated with the digestive fire, agni, so it will be much needed after lots of turkey and thanksgiving festivities.
Our peak poses will be:
- Ardha Virasana (half hero’s pose)
- Anjeyanasana (the pose of Anjaneya/Hanuman > Low lunge with Back Bend)
- Setu Bhanda (bridge pose)
- Savangasana (shoulder stand)
See you in class!!!!!!!!!!